City Council approved an amendment to the Philadelphia Code that will allow taxpayers who “timely filed” an appeal of their property’s 2019 assessed value to pay their 2019 taxes by March 31, 2019 in the amount reflected on their 2018 property tax bills.Read More
On October 2, 2018, legislators introduced a bill to amend the Pennsylvania Constitution’s Uniformity Clause to allow for a different (likely higher) rate of taxation on commercial properties than is imposed on non-commercial properties. Read more here . . .Read More
The City confirmed during recent litigation that it isn't even allowing taxpayers the ability to pay their property taxes based on their prior year's tax bill while a challenge to their assessment is pending, as many taxpayer did for dramatic AVI increases in 2014.Read More
Philadelphia property owners are in for a tax hike effective for tax year 2019. No, not the 4.1% tax rate increase that is being proposed by the Mayor and currently under review by City Council—that increase will come on top of the backdoor tax hike resulting from upward revisions by the City's Office of Property Assessment to property assessments. . .Read More
Philadelphia County is the only county in the entire Commonwealth of Pennsylvania where the county government can generate unlimited tax increases from property reassessments, which are unchecked by any representative body, rather than by tax rate adjustments voted on by City Council.Read More
Philadelphia County is like the Wild West (in a very tame, lawyerly sort of way). There is no local rule indicating how real estate tax assessment appeals should be captioned, how discovery should be conducted (if at all), whether motion practice is even allowed, or any other indication of how the appeal should be conducted.Read More
On Friday, January 19, 2018, Judge Daniel Anders of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas overruled the City of Philadelphia's preliminary objections to an argument that seventy commercial and industrial property owners cannot challenge their real estate value reassessments for tax year 2018 in a consolidated action without exhausting their administrative remedies before the Board of Revision of Taxes. These commercial property owners constitute a small portion of what the City represented were 65,000 commercial, industrial and institutional properties that were spot assessed for tax year 2018. Judge Anders also ruled that the property owners' complaint stated a valid claim under the Pennsylvania Constitution's Uniformity Clause.
Judge Anders noted that the recent Valley Forge Towers decision held that an assessment appeal board, like the BRT, does not have the authority to review an assessing authority's decision to reassess a property. Rather, assessment appeal boards are limited to determining the value of any given property and the appropriate ratio to apply to determine such property's assessed value. This limitation is reflected in both the General County Assessment Law and the First Class County Assessment Law, both of which govern assessment appeals in Philadelphia County.
Judge Anders's order can be found here and is docketed at Duffield House Assocs., L.P., et al. v. City of Philadelphia, Sept. Term 2017, No. 1536, or 170901536. In addition, the Valley Forge Towers decision can be found here.
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"Spot assessment" is specifically defined in statute for all counties in Pennsylvania except for Philadelphia, because Philadelphia is subject to a different set of statutes than the rest of the Commonwealth.Read More
The biggest event in Philadelphia's recent real estate tax history is, of course, the 2014 Actual Value Initiative, otherwise known as AVI. Several years in the making, AVI was the product of a crisis over Philadelphia's broken assessment procedure that endangered tens of millions of dollars of tax revenue.Read More