Economic Development
Tax AbatementTax Compromise

What is Tax Abatement?

Wilkinsburg knows that a a difficult hurdle with large renovation and renewal projects can be the sudden increase in the taxable value. This increase can disincentivize renewal, new construction, or cause owners to try to hide renovations.

To ease these fears, spur renewal, and generally encourage regrowth, we offer a 10-Year Tax Abatement for those who apply. This gradually increases the taxable amount over a 10 year period, easing a property owner up to the full value.

How does the process work?

Application Process:

  1. Applicants submit a written application on a prescribed form at the time of applying for a building permit.
  2. The Joint Committee reviews and either approves or rejects the application.
  3. Applicants complete the work.
  4. Approved applicants must notify the Allegheny County Office of Property Assessment upon completion of improvements for inspection and reassessment.

Exemption Schedule:

Year Percentage of Assessed Value of Improvements Exempt from Taxation
1 100%
2 90%
3 80%
4 70%
5 60%
6 50%
7 40%
8 30%
9 20%
10 10%
11 No tax exemption shall apply

Conditions for Revocation:

  • Failure to pay property taxes within 60 days of the due date.
  • Failure to abate building or housing code violations.
  • Providing inaccurate information on the application form.

Example: You talk to the owner of a business and buy it so you can build your own. It is assessed at $50,000. You renovate the property to preserve the history and write your own future; now, the property is valued at $150,000. Instead of paying taxes on the full value immediately, you will pay value on only 10% of the increase after on year; 20% after two years, and so on, slowly increasing your taxable value until reaching the full amount.

Who can use this program?

Eligibility:

  • Applicable to deteriorated business properties within the Borough of Wilkinsburg.
  • Properties must undergo significant improvements that lead to increased tax assessments by the Allegheny County Office of Property Assessments.
  • Ordinary upkeep and maintenance do not qualify.

Any person, organization, corporation, limited liability company, partnership or association – nearly any entity that can own property, so long as they are making significant capital improvements. You also need to be current on taxes and clear of code violations for all other properties you own.

Tax Abatement is best for property owners with current taxes who want to make improvements; if you want assistance acquiring property with Back Taxes and a Known Owner, consider the Tax Compromise program.

How do I learn more, or apply?

The full description of the program can be found in the Borough Code.

Tax Abatement Code

Fill out the Application linked here and submit it to the Borough Code Department (2nd floor, 605 Ross Avenue | (412) 244-2923).

Application and Checklist

Additional Information

Joint Committee: The Joint Committee on Administrative Process to Reclaim Vacant Properties oversees the application processes and includes key officials from the Borough and the School District.

Contacts: For more details and to apply, contact the Code Enforcement Office:

Upcoming Informational Session

Join us for our Joint Tax Committee meetings on the 4th Monday of every month at 5:30 pm at the Borough Building (or on Zoom) to learn more about these programs and how they can benefit you.

About the Borough of Wilkinsburg

The Borough of Wilkinsburg is dedicated to fostering a vibrant community through innovative programs that support economic growth and improve the quality of life for its residents.