We’ve spilled quite a bit of digital ink discussing the Actual Value Initiative (AVI), the Office of Property Assessment’s (OPA) effort to reassess the properties in Philadelphia fairly and accurately. And while it’s clear that OPA did a rather imperfect job in their first effort to reassess Philadelphia’s 560K+ properties, we’re going to be stuck with these new assessments whether we like it or not. Back in June, City Council approved a new property tax rate of 1.34%. True, this rate is not nearly as destructive as the 1.8% number that was thrown around in 2012, but it’s still a very high number that will cause a hardship for many homeowners.
The Greater Philadelphia Association of REALTORS (GPAR) has hatched a plan to try to get that property tax rate down to a much more manageable 1%. The “Road to 1%” is a proposal that centers around the City raising additional tax dollars by collecting on the $1.6B (!) in delinquencies over sixteen different City taxes. Rather than have the City pursue individual taxpayers (or non-taxpayers, more accurately), this plan would have the City sell tax lien certificates to an independent party who would then have to go through that process. From what we understand, the City would be able to get most of the $1.6B from this process, and the collections would be somebody else’s problem.
We’re hearing that this plan has gotten some buy-in from City Council, with a willingness to pass the necessary legislation on the local level and to help get the necessary laws passed in Harrisburg as well. Hopefully, this plan is as good as it sounds and it will pick up momentum once Council is back in session next month. And if we hear any new details about The Road to 1%, we’ll be sure to pass ’em along.
For more details, click here to watch a short video on the subject.
Now you’ll have to excuse us, we’re off to appeal our new tax bill.