Frazer supervisors are seeking to recover more than $2.8 million in delinquent special tax assessments from three businesses within the Pittsburgh Mills complex.
Earlier this month, the board authorized attorney Matt Marshall to bring a “local government claims and collections” lawsuit against May Department Stores Co., Macy’s former parent company, in Allegheny County Court. Pitt Galleria Realty LLC, owner of the main mall building. Pittsburgh Mills Auto Properties LLP owns a large vacant lot next to the mall building across the street.
Township is seeking about $340,000 from May Department Store, just over $2.1 million from Pitt Galleria Realty, and more than $340,000 from Pittsburgh Mills Auto Properties.
Property owners could not be reached for comment.
Township supervisor Lori Ziencik said all mall owners pay regular property taxes.
A special valuation was written into the original contract of the property owner of the complex. Officials said they were prepared in case the TIF (Tax Incremental Financing) model failed.
The township received $50 million through the Allegheny County Redevelopment Authority for the 2002 TIF. The funds will be used for the Route 28 interchange that accesses the Mills complex, as well as roads, sewers, lighting, traffic lights, Butler Logan and Murray Hill within the 340-acre property.
The plan calls for using 75% of the county property tax revenues the mall generates to pay back the money. A shortage of these earnings results in a special evaluation.
Special assessments protect bondholders in the event that tax assessments are lowered on appeal or for other reasons.
Real estate valuations at the Mills complex have plummeted over the past 16 years.
The mall was valued at $190 million in 2006. That number dropped to $30 million in February 2016, and four months later he was down to $11 million. A trap based in York City.
The township is obliged to collect the delinquent special assessment amount, but the money will not be returned to the township. It goes to Wells Fargo, the bond holder, Marshall said.
This year is the final year of the 20-year TIF program.