City Council reassesses tools for Philadelphia property review

Philadelphia is re-evaluating every property tax assessment this year.  But during a City Council budget hearing, it came out that modernizing tax assessments is happening without the benefit of modern technology.


Evaluators are using binders and handwriting their field reports, said Richie McKeithen, the city’s chief assessment officer.

“When we have things like tablets, when we don’t have to do the physical data entry, because right now we’re all on paper, then we can work at a much more efficient pace,” he said. “Right now we’re nowhere close to that.”

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Councilwoman Cindy Bass was surprised at the lack of technology used in the property review.

“I think it’s a little bit troubling and scary that we are undertaking such a huge process and we don’t have the technology and tools of today,” she said. “We don’t send folks out with notebooks or iPads or PDAs or anything.  They’ve got a notepad.”

McKeithen says the office is using data-entry technicians to supplement the field review because some of the property reviewers aren’t good at the keyboard.

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