Philly business owners appeal property tax rates — and win

About 1,000 thousand commercial property owners in Philadelphia may be in line for smaller tax bills. Meanwhile, a new ruling could cost the city and school district up to $80 million.

The State Tax Equalization Board ruled last summer the ratio used to determine tax payments in Philadelphia on nonresidential properties was too high at 32 percent.

The owner of a parking lot at 8th and Market streets appealed to the Board of Revision of Taxes and won.

Carl Primavera, who represents the lot owner, explained.

“They found in favor of my client at the 18.1 percent. So that means, of the fair market value, only 18.1 percent was taxed instead of the 32 percent the city would like,” he said.

Primavera, who said his client will save close to $160,000, said the city and school district should not be surprised.

“The hope is that the city and the school district had made arrangements because the state board published its findings in July,” he said.

The city is appealing the latest ruling. If new assessments based on actual value are put in place next year as promised, the victory will be short lived.

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