The Lead

Pgh Mayor Gainey submits 26 city properties for tax-exempt status review

By: - March 28, 2023 5:11 pm
Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey speaks during a live-streamed 6/27/22 press conference

Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey speaks during a live-streamed press conference on Monday, 6/27/22 (Pittsburgh City Paper screen capture).

PITTSBURGH – Mayor Ed Gainey said Tuesday the city is challenging the tax-exempt status of 26 properties, after a review by city officials found they may not meet requirements for tax exemption.

“I made a promise to the people when I ran, that in this city we would do the necessary work to ensure that all of our non-profits meet the constitutional standards,” Gainey said at a press conference. “That is our job as elected officials: we’re here to protect the taxpayers, and make sure everybody pays their fair share.”

The properties, which include houses, office space, parking lots, and vacant lots could bring in an estimated $3.5 million in revenue, city Solicitor Krysia Kubiak said at the press conference. 

Their owners include the regional healthcare giant UPMC, Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh, and Allegheny General Hospital, among others. 

Gainey issued an executive order in January directing the city’s law and finance departments to conduct a review of all tax-exempt properties on city tax rolls, to determine whether they meet the state requirements of “purely public charities.” He estimated that 34% of properties in Pittsburgh are designated as tax-exempt. 

The city set up an email address where residents can send information about properties they believe may not meet the legal requirements for nonprofit status.

 The city finance department is referring the 26 properties to the Allegheny County property assessment office for review under a taxing jurisdiction exemption challenge. The county will schedule hearings for the challenges, and property owners could appeal if the county determines the properties don’t meet the requirements for tax-exempt status. 

City officials said that 10% of the property review was completed so far, with a goal of completing the review by next March.

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Kim Lyons
Kim Lyons

Kim is a veteran western Pennsylvania journalist who has covered people and trends in politics and business for local and national publications.