Pittsburgh City Council on Tuesday voted to increase the city’s realty transfer tax by 25 percent to help increase housing options for families living at or near the poverty line.
The tax on property sales would increase in two phases by 0.5 percent. It would jump from 4 percent to 4.5 percent in January and to 5 percent in January 2020. It would remain at 4.5 percent in 2019.
City Realtors have opposed the increase, saying it would become the highest realty tax rate in the state, stymie real estate investment and push homeowners to suburbs where realty transfer tax rates are lower along with income tax rates, which have historically been lower than in the city. Supporters said it would provide housing to thousands of needy residents.