Monday, October 28, 2019 | 12:01 AM
The Pine Board of Supervisors approved setting the amount for the Homestead Exclusion Act for 2020 at $149,450, which is the maximum allowed under state law, at its October meeting.
Last year the owners of roughly 3,400 properties applied for and were granted the exclusion, according to Jan Kowalski, the township’s director of finance. They’re hoping to have about 4,200 this year, or about 80% of the properties in the township, as more people become aware of the program, she said.
Allegheny County’s Act 50 Homestead/Farmstead exclusion allows residents who own their property and use it as a primary residence to reduce the market value of their homes by $18,000 for county tax purposes. Last year, residents who qualified saved about $140 on their township taxes.
Under current state law, the maximum allowed as an exclusion is 50 percent of the median assessed value in the community.
The 2020 township budget will be available at the Nov. 4 board of supervisors meeting, at which time it will be advertised to the public.
There will be no tax increase under the proposed 2020 budget, with the millage rate remaining at 0.998, lowest in Allegheny County.
Some of the proposed 2020 capital budget items that were discussed at the board’s meeting and approved for inclusion were:
• Expansion of the Pine Community Center, including increasing the size of various workout rooms, increasing the size of the equipment area and purchasing additional exercise equipment
• Construction of a splash pad and restrooms at the splash pad site
• Paving and expansion of the community center parking lot
• Construction of a handicapped accessible trail and wetland interpretive area in Pine Community Park, contingent upon the awarding of supplemental funding from a grant
• Municipal building updates including LED light replacement, landscaping and repainting of the roof
• Increasing the municipal contribution to the Wexford Volunteer Fire Company from $160,000 to $200,000 for expenses related to operations
• The extension of the Rachel Carson Trail to the Wexford Station Trail
• The Route 19 pedestrian lighting program, a multi-year project within the Town Center Design Overlay District, with the application of a grant to subsidize cost to the township
• Updating the official Township of Pine map
• Demolition and disposal of the unused wind turbine, a carryover from the 2019 budget
• Construction of the Northbrook Sanitary Sewer District, contingent upon the award of the Allegheny County Gaming Economic Development Fund grant, applied for in September
• Public works projects including privacy fence material for the storage area adjacent to the salt building, replacement of the underground fuel storage tank and the purchase of a new public works director’s truck, completion of the stormwater facility at the Pine Township Municipal Complex
• Designing and permitting traffic improvements and signal for Babcock Boulevard at the Red Belt and upgrading the Wexford Flats adaptive traffic signals
• Increasing the crack sealing program and maintaining the road paving program at its current funding levels
• Purchasing additional property near or adjacent to Pine Community Park for future park expansion.