Municipalities in Allegheny County have been granted a deadline extension to adopt their 2013 budgets and set property tax rates.
Bell Acres Council approved a $1.46 million 2013 budget during its regular meeting on Monday, several hours after Allegheny County Judge R. Stanton Wettick Jr. signed and issued an official court order extending the Dec. 31 deadline to Jan. 31 for taxing bodies to adopt 2013 budgets and set millage rates.
Borough Solicitor Robert Max Junker said the deadline was changed after lawyers raised issue on behalf of municipalities working to finalize budgets before the end of the year with uncertainty regarding property assessment appeals.
“The judge recognized that people are being asked to develop budgets and set millage rates without the actual numbers,” Junker said.
Municipalities have the option to re-examine and modify their final millage rates no later than 10 days before 2013 tax bills are mailed, according to the court order.
After holding a special budget meeting last month, Bell Acres Council on Monday approved a lowered tax rate of 4.024 mills to offset increased property values.
Council President Dennis Young said the tax rate is less than the 5 percent allowed by state law. The provision restricts taxing bodies from collecting a windfall due to higher reassessments.
Wettick's court order also provides a four-day extension to the Dec. 17 deadline he previously set for the county's final and revised 2013 real estate assessment roll to be released on Dec. 21.