Sales Down in Some Districts

In last week’s Brief we delved into the issue of the upcoming reassessment and how a sample of two months of home sales compared to the assessed values on those sales. With more than 1,600 sales, the cumulative sales prices exceeded the cumulative assessed values by 22 percent. That countywide sales/assessed gap can be used as a barometer for individual sales, sales by municipality, and sales by school districts to see how County taxes might be affected.

There are 43 school districts in the County: twelve of them contain one municipality (so the population and tax base of the municipality and the district are essentially identical) and the remainder is multi-municipal. There were a few communities that reported no sales in the months we considered, but there was at least one sale in every one of the 43 school districts.

Eight school districts ended up in the position of having their cumulative sales end up lower than the cumulative assessed values on those sales. This ranged from 0.20% lower in Clairton to 17% lower in Cornell. The largest district in this group of eight was Penn Hills (one of the twelve sole municipal school districts) where cumulative sales were 8% lower than the cumulative assessed values on those sales.

The list of districts comprises much of Mon Valley with Clairton, West Mifflin (-2%), McKeesport (-4%), and South Allegheny (-14%) all registering a negative sales/assessed gap.