If you’re a homeowner in Philadelphia, your property is likely one of your most valuable investments.
About 150 enraged homeowners packed the meeting at Tenth Presbyterian on 17th and Spruce Streets, many saying they’d received notices saying they may owe upward of 100 percent, 200 percent, or more in higher property taxes. The vibe at the meeting? Disbelief, anger, and, among the seniors and multigenerational homeowners, frustration that they’ll be pushed out.
So here’s how to appeal your Philly property reassessments, step by step:
First level review
You received a form with your 2019 proposed reassessment, called a “First Level Review.” Send in the form. We repeat – send in the form! It’s the initial step to have your property assessment reviewed. You don’t need a lawyer to send in the form, due by Friday, May 25. Explain why your assessment is faulty, including location, improvements, recent sales, etc., and request a meeting or review from the Office of Property Assessment.
Homeowners can also appeal their property assessment, and the deadline is Oct. 1 — if City Council doesn’t throw out this reassessment before then. You’ll sit before the Board of Revision and Taxes and state your case as to why your assessment isn’t fair. Probably best to have an attorney with you. You can still appeal even if you don’t send in the First Level Review form.
You can file a second appeal to the Philadelphia Common Pleas Court. For that, you’ll need a lawyer.
Meanwhile, file for a homestead exemption
If your home in Philadelphia is your primary residence, you can apply for a homestead exemption. This means you can knock off $30,000 from your current assessment. There’s some discussion of raising that to $40,000 or $45,000, depending on City Council.
You can apply at the OPA website (beta.phila.gov/services/property-lots-housing/get-the-homestead-exemption) via the online Homestead Exemption application, over the phone by calling the city’s Revenue Hotline at 215-686-9200, or by mail using the Homestead Exemption Application.
The Office of Property Assessment is located at the Curtis Center, 601 Walnut St., Suite 300W, Philadelphia, Pa. 19106. Phone: 215-686-4334.
You can access the Inquirer and Daily News database of proposed property reassessments at http://data.philly.com/philly/property/tax.
Overall, the median market value of Philadelphia single-family homes increased 10.5 percent from the 2018 assessments, jumping from $112,800 to $124,600, according to an Inquirer and Daily News analysis of the city’s data. Some individual homeowners could see two, three, or even 10 times that. And for renters, tax-bill increases could be passed on to them.Read the original Philly.com article here.