Wednesday, October 27, 2004

City Council Overrides Mayor's Tax Discount Veto - News - City Council Overrides Mayor's Tax Discount Veto October 27, 2004 -- Pittsburgh City Council voted to override Mayor Tom Murphy's veto of a plan to offer an additional one percent discount to those who pay property taxes during the first week of January...
Council President Gene Ricciardi's early tax payment plan is designed to increase the city's income in the first part of the year, which would reduce the amount of money the city would need to borrow to pay bills.

Craig Kwiecinski, the mayor's spokesman, isn't saying if Murphy will implement Ricciardi's plan.

Ricciardi and Councilman William Peduto said they're willing to withdraw the discount plan if Murphy offers better strategies for funding the city budget next year.

Flip-flopping at City Council had another highlight. First, the early bird plan gets passed. (Votes were 8-1.) Second, the mayor gives the plan a veto. Third, the veto is overcome (6-3). But, the mayor says he won't actually do the plan. Or, I should point out, the mayor says he won't follow the law.

City council sets the laws. City council is the legislative branch. Meanwhile, the mayor is the administrator and he chooses to NOT follow the law.

Furthermore, City Council President won't insist that the Mayor follow the plan. The early-bird plan won the hour, came into being, but it won't happen. It's official. But, it's to be ignored.

The plan's prime sponsor, City Council President, Gene Ricciardi, won't hold the mayor's feet to the fire on this. Rather, Gene said he won't be an obstructionalist and press for its enactment.
There is some question if this new bit of legislation is something that would be trumphed by the oversight bodies, such as the Act 47 Coordinators. However, much can be said that a discount period is not really another form of lowering taxes.

So, the Mayor gets off the hook as none are going to hold his feet to the fire. And, should there be a real plan from the administration, those that passed the law would issue a flip-flop.
Impacts on home owners

City home owners are still facing a real threat of a 34% increase in property taxes. Even if the budget gets a final hour switch (another flip flop) the expected tax increase on property is set for 5%. Other taxes are going up too, of course.
If you have your mortgage with a holding company, by law, so I understand, the company needs to take advantage of any discounts. Taxes are often a portion of the payments home-owners to be make as part of their home payment, interest, and such. If the bank holds the note to the house, and if the bank pays the taxes as well, the banks are forced to take advantage of the savings for the extra discounts.

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