For many families, buying a house in Pittsburgh will be a little more expensive come next year.
City Council on Tuesday approved a controversial increase in realty transfer taxes, bumping them from 4 percent to 4.5 percent effective Feb. 1.
Extra revenue from the change, expected to be several million dollars a year, will support the affordable housing trust fund that council approved a year ago but had yet to pay for. The vote on the tax increase was 7-2, with council members Darlene Harris and Natalia Rudiak dissenting.
“This is about permanently changing the lives of Pittsburgh families,” said Celeste Scott, the housing justice organizer at Pittsburgh United. The activist coalition has lobbied hard for the trust fund, also known as the Housing Opportunity Fund, which Ms. Scott said will let more than 7,000 city families stay in their homes or move into affordable, safe housing.