With the release of the 2014 assessed home values by the Office of Property Assessment, we now have an idea of what property taxes will look like next year across the city. And in many neighborhoods, it ain’t pretty. You can check on your neighborhood, using the Axis Philly AVI Map, and see how you and your neighbors will be
Looking real bad in Graduate Hospital
Looking at a random sampling of data from the new assessments, we’ve discovered numerous flaws, making us wonder whether AVI will actually be implemented in 2014 or whether this whole process will have to go back to the drawing board. The problem described below is present in every property we’ve reviewed, calling into question the validity of the entire data set.
Issue 2) Land in Philadelphia is dramatically underassessed…
We are disappointed and bummed out.
Yesterday, the Office of Property Assessment released 2014 property assessments, with an eye toward the novel idea of taxing properties in this town based on what they’re worth. We took a look at a random sampling of data from the new assessments, and we did discover improved fairness across the board. But we also found that the data is fatally flawed, and these flaws undermine every assessment in the city.
We long to visit this intersection
In the coming days, we’ll be going over the problems that we find with the new assessments. Some are correctable. Others will require wholesale changes. But if, as OPA claims, “It’s About Fairness,” isn’t it incumbent them to make things right?
Issue 1) Many properties were never visited by assessors, leading to nonsensical assessments.
Just one example today, though there are plenty out there. Let’s compare 2001 Federal…
Since Mayor Nutter came into office, property tax fairness has been one of his pet issues. And in 2013, a mere six years after he was originally elected, the Actual Value Initiative could finally be rolled out! You would think, with so many years to plan out a strategy, his administration would have come up with a plan that wouldn’t sink the city. Regrettably, that’s exactly what could happen if City Council passes any of the AVI proposals currently being considered.
A touch of background: Philadelphia property tax assessments are completely out of whack and have been for decades. Properties in lower income neighborhoods are generally taxed as if they’re worth more than they actually are. Properties in higher income neighborhoods are generally undertaxed. Properties in neighborhoods that have improved in the last ten years or so are, in general, severely undertaxed. Also, spot assessments have been the norm, with…
Image from NBC10
After a marathon day of negotiations, City Council voted last week to temporarily raise property taxes by 3.85% to help raise $53M for our city’s broken school district. And yesterday, by an 11-6 vote, Council passed the final measure to raise property taxes in Philadelphia. Again. By again, we refer to the “temporary” ten-percent tax increase passed last year, which is not temporary at all if you take a peek at the City’s 2011 Five-Year Plan (With special thanks to Brett Mandel for uncovering this). According to the bill passed last year, the ten-percent tax hike would sunset after two years, but the plan shows expected revenues from property taxes to remain constant or rise over the coming years. So it doesn’t look like last year’s tax hike is going anywhere, and we’re not holding our…
With the Philadelphia School District facing a $629 million dollar deficit, School Superintendent Arlene Ackerman has requested $75 – $110 million from the City of Philadelphia to help plug some of that gap. Mayor Nutter has offered two options to raise these funds for the School District: a 10 percent increase in property taxes or a 2-cents-per-ounce tax for sugary beverages. Anyone else experiencing déjà vu?
That’s because Nutter introduced similar proposals just a year ago, with Council passing a two-year “temporary“ 9.9-percent property tax increase and neglecting to vote on the sugary beverage tax in the face of vocal opposition. If Council passes any tax increase, it will represent yet another blow for an already overburdened tax base.
Call us crazy, but we see two far more palatable solutions to this problem. Ready Mr. Mayor?
1) The City of Philadelphia owns, through a few different agencies, over 10,000 properties.…