Property Reassessments Could Add $30 Million in New Revenues

For Immediate Release
May 2, 2016

Contact:  Brian Dries

Property Reassessments Could Add $30 Million in New Revenues
City Controller’s latest economic report reviews impact of new property values for 2017

PHILADELPHIA – City Controller Alan Butkovitz today released his latest monthly economic report that indicated the City of Philadelphia’s new property assessments for 2017 could provide approximately $30 million in new tax revenues.

The reassessments conducted by the Office of Property Assessment increased the City’s total taxable property value to $91.7 billion, up $2.2 billion over the prior year.  As a result, Real Estate Tax revenue is expected to increase for the City’s General Fund and the School District of Philadelphia by $14 million and $17 million, respectively.

The increase in total value is due to the upward reassessment in the land portion of the assessment, rather than the actual improvement area, or the building on the property.  Overall, 36,778 properties realized an increase, which resulted in 35 of the City’s 50 zip codes to have an average increase in real estate taxes.  Fourteen zip codes realized a total decrease and one remained unchanged.

The change in assessed property value will reflect whether a property owner will owe more or less next year for real estate taxes.  Some of the neighborhoods that will see a change in their average tax bill include the following: 

Neighborhood Avg. Change in Taxes
Center City (19102) $1,013
Northern Liberties $489
Fairmount $470
University City -$53
East Falls -$71

While many property owners across the City will realize an increase in real estate taxes, those under the 10-year abatement program could be impacted even greater.  Of the total 15,000 properties currently under abatement, almost 12,000 will realize tax increases under the new assessment due to an increase in the land portion of the total assessment.

This will increase the average real estate tax bill by $1,517 and $1,031 for abated properties in Fishtown and Pennsport/Queen Village, respectively.

In addition to reviewing the new property assessments, the Controller’s economic report indicated that monthly tax revenues for both City and PICA totaled almost $356 million, a less than two percent decrease compared to last March.  Monthly sales tax revenues for the month totaled $9.6 million, a 12 percent decrease over the same month last year.