Councilman wants a tax break for long-term residents of gentrified Philly neighborhoods

As Philadelphia homeowners brace for property tax hikes that are likely to come with re-assessment, Councilman Jim Kenney is proposing a property tax break for long-time residents. 

Kenney said his proposal would give an abatement similar to the 10-year property tax breaks given to new homes.

“We found out in many of these neighborhoods that took advantage of the tax abatements, home market values could go up three, four, five times the original purchase price of the home,” Kenney said. “While we’d like to capture the actual value we don’t think it’s appropriate for someone’s taxes to go from $1,000 to $7,000 in one year.”

Kenney said the extent of the abatement is still up for discussion.

“It would be for life or if we could determine a term of years that made sense, perhaps 10 to match the tax abatement,” Kenney said. “Right now it would be for life or until they change title to someone else.”

Kenney said he does not need state approval for the move, since back in 1988 Pennsylvania approved tax breaks for long-term residents in gentrified neighborhoods.

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