City of Pittsburgh Council District 4
Billboard Tax FACTS
Who has the special privilege of paying less than $40 a year on their property taxes?
a) You
b) Senior citizens
c) Disabled veterans
d) The multi-million dollar billboard industry  
If you answered “D,” you are correct!
Given today’s hard economic times, it is vital that we close tax privilege loopholes that let corporations off the hook. We all have the responsibility to protect our neighborhoods from crime and neglect. That’s why Council President Darlene Harris and Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak are fighting to make sure that everyone pay their fair share and that Pittsburghers get the services we deserve.
The Councilwomen have introduced legislation to hold multi-million dollar billboard companies accountable for the city services that enable their profits. This much needed revenue will pay for City of Pittsburgh police cars, which need to be replaced regularly at a cost of $2-3 million per year. 
  • The most profitable billboards rake in hundreds of thousands of dollars, but national advertising corporations like Lamar pay significantly less in property taxes than you do for your home. For example, Lamar purchased a billboard on Rt. 51 at Edgebrook Avenue for over $5 million, but they pay less than $40 per year in property taxes for it.
  • Taxpayers subsidize billboard profits. Companies pay top dollar to put an ad on a billboard because thousands of people drive by it each day. But our tax dollars are used to build and maintain these roads.
  • What do we get in return? Billboards are eyesores that lower property values for our homes and businesses, according to a recent study.   
  • Lamar and other big billboard companies already pay a similar tax in Philadelphia and other Pennsylvania towns. In Pittsburgh, they are spending thousands of dollars to avoid paying their fair share.

 

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