Is an Allegheny Co. Tax Revenue Source Headed For a Record-Breaking Year?

Summary of Study

Allegheny County levies a 1% local option sales tax with half the revenue allocated to the Regional Asset District (RAD) and half to the county and its municipalities. The tax is levied on the same in-county purchases as the state’s 6% sales, use, and hotel occupancy tax.

RAD’s portion of the sales tax is used to distribute grants to various entities designated as regional assets, including libraries, parks, the zoo, and the aviary. It services a bond for the construction of Heinz Field, PNC Park, and the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

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Feature Charticle

Allegheny Institute for Public Policy

Findings:

  • Sales tax revenue through October 2021 is $93.9 million.
  • RAD is projecting that 2021 collections will total $109.4 million.
  • If the preliminary budget’s sales tax projection proves to be accurate, that would be a 9% increase in collections over the 2020 pandemic year but only 3.2% above the 2019 total. 
  • For 2022, RAD forecasts sales tax revenue slipping from its 2021 projection due to “consumer spending uncertainties as individual economic impact payments expire, as well as a slowdown of motor vehicles sales due to notable trends that include supply chain challenges and extended teleworking.”

Read the full policy brief here