New city office begins reassessing Philadelphia properties

The reassessment of properties in Philadelphia is officially under way. It’s the first time homes will be valued since creation of the new Office of Property Assessment.

The values used for real estate taxation in Philadelphia were full of inequities. Things were so bad that in 2010, the mayor ordered a freeze on the assessment of most properties. The job was taken from the Board of Revision of Taxes and given to the new office.

Chief Assessment Officer Richie McKeithen says each property will have to be inspected.

“We’re going to judge every house on its on its own merit,” he said. “We can generally detect when something is not consistent (through) permit data, records of that nature.”

Many factors determine a home’s real value, McKeithen said.

“We are going to value the property based on what it would sell for,” he said. “We track the market and follow it based on the size of it, the condition, the location. Based on all those things, we are going to place a value on it.”

McKeithen said the reassessments should be completed by spring.

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