Resources for Business Owners and Developers

Tax Increment Financing Districts
Tax Increment Financing (TIF’s) is a public financing method which has been used for redevelopment projects for more than 50 years. The future gains in taxes are used to finance the planned improvements that will create those gains. Publicly planned and financed redevelopment projects often lead to an increased value of the surrounding real estate, and are often followed by additional investment in the adjacent area. This increased site value and investment generates increased tax revenues * the “tax increment?. Tax Increment Financing dedicates tax increments within a defined district be used to finance the debt issued to pay for the project.

Currently there are 19 TIF’s in the City of Pittsburgh, created for projects ranging from the massive Pittsburgh Technology Center to the Negley Avenue Giant Eagle. These projects have leveraged over $1.67 billion in private investment and created over 15,000 jobs in the City of Pittsburgh. The overall public investment is $304 million.

When all existing TIF’s are paid down, nearly $3 million in NEW tax revenue will be generated each year for the City (based on today’s valuations and tax rates). This does not include the $800,000 that is now being collected from the annual employment tax from the newly created jobs. This figure will rise to $1.3 million once all TIF projects are completed. That’s a total of $4.3 million in additional tax revenue for the City (based on today’s valuations and tax rates). Additional revenues are also collected from the creation of these jobs such as employer payroll taxes, city wage taxes, potential sales taxes, etc.

These figures are based solely on what is generated by the TIF district itself, and do not take into account additional development that has spun off from the TIF projects. For example, the Home Depot TIF project revitalized a section of East Liberty, brought 138 jobs, $10 million of investment and paved the way for additional national retailers to move into the neighborhood.

Alcoa TIF bonds were refunded in April 2008. Even in this kind of market, the URA was able to achieve enough savings to shorten the bond term by one full year. Therefore, starting in 2015 (as opposed to the originally scheduled 2016), the taxing bodies will start to receive the full amount of property taxes. For the City, this will mean additional tax revenues of $317,520 beginning in 2015, given current valuations and tax rates.

TIF’s have been a great economic development tool for Pittsburgh, without which, many large developments would likely have not happened.

View the URA's TIF Guidelines and TIF Application Form. View the 2015 URA Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Report.. To discuss the use of Tax Increment Financing for your development, contact the Director of the Economic Development Department at 412-255-6663.

Transit Revitalization Investment District (TRID) Financing Guidelines
The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) Transit Revitalization Investment District (TRID) program is a highly effective tool for fostering large-scale redevelopment within the City of Pittsburghthat otherwise would not be financially feasible. TRIDs utilize future increased tax revenues generated by a designated district to pay for eligible costs of Transit Oriented Development (TOD) projects within the district, to enable the completion of projects that produce quality, full-time jobs for City residents, increase the City’s tax base, leverage substantial private investment, improve the City’s transit infrastructure, increase the quality and ridership of public transit within the City, and provide benefits to communities in the City. Transit Revitalization Investment Districts, however, are only to be used in projects where traditional private and public financing is insufficient for project completion, the projects will have positive impacts on the neighborhood in which it will be built and on the City of Pittsburgh, and the projects will complement existing commercial and residential development in the City. All projects utilizing TRID funds are subject to the policies outlined in the Transit Revitalization Investment District Financing Guidelines.

Parking Tax Diversion Guideline
The Parking Tax Diversion (PTD) program utilizes future increased parking tax revenues generated by a development project to pay for eligible costs of that project. All projects utilizing the PTD program are subject to the policies in the Parking Tax Diversion Guidelines.

Green Development Resources for Small Business Development
Pittsburgh is recognized as a leader in the construction of green buildings and we believe that the maintenance of this position is advantageous. Here the URA provides a compilation of Green Development incentives and resources available to you for completing your project within the City of Pittsburgh. We have tried our best to capture all that is available to you.

See also Green Development Resources for Commercial Development and Green Development Resources for Residential Development.

Public Art Resource Guide for Developers
The URA created a resource guide with the Office of Public Art that demonstrates innovative ways to incorporate public art into development projects. Add Value Add Art shows diverse public art projects and offers practical advice about how to enhance Pittsburgh’s built environment with art.

Tax Abatement Programs and Resources
Multiple tax abatement programs exist for both commercial and residential renovation and redevelopment in the City of Pittsburgh.

SBA Small Business Planner
The Small Business Planner includes information and resources that will help you at any stage of the business lifecycle.

City of Pittsburgh Guide to Permitting
Find information on the permitting process for projects in the City of Pittsburgh.

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Find information on state sponsored programs.

Pittsburgh Regional Alliance
PRA markets the benefits of conducting business in southwestern Pennsylvania to companies all over the world that are growing, relocating or expanding. Find analyzed regional data.

Allegheny County
Find information on Allegheny County sponsored programs.

Allegheny County Real Estate Web Site
Search county property tax records.

Western PA Brownfields Center
The WPBC applies academic research and decision support tools to real-world problems facing public and private investors investing in area brownfield sites.

Chatham University Center for Women's Entrepreneurship
CWE offers programs for women in business helping them advance and hone their skills by teaching them to think and act entrepreneurially and encourages women in business to focus on innovation and creativity within the context of their existing organizational environments.

Tax Abatement Programs and Resources

Multiple tax abatement programs exist for development in the City of Pittsburgh. Abatement of City, County and School taxes may be made available for your commercial or residential renovation or redevelopment project based on project type and location. Staff at the URA can assist you in making application for the product that applies to your project.

Local Economic Revitalization Tax Act District (LERTA) was created to improve the economic and business climate of certain residential and commercial districts by lessening the tax burden on new development. The URA will work closely with developers who wish to take advantage of this incentive by walking you through the application and public process to make utilizing LERTA as simple as possible.

Tax Abatement Table is in the process of being updated. Real estate tax abatement program comparisons.

LERTA Residential Map: A detailed map of the City of Pittsburgh showing where LERTA residential tax abatement is available for residential development.

For more information, please contact Jessica Smith Perry at 412-255-6575 or .