City Council calls for audit of Philly tax office’s assessment method

Philadelphia Council President Darrell Clarke and other City Council members discuss audit of Office of Property Assessment's methods. (Tom MacDonald, WHYY)

Philadelphia Council President Darrell Clarke and other City Council members discuss audit of Office of Property Assessment's methods. (Tom MacDonald, WHYY)

Philadelphia City Council plans to audit the city’s Office of Property Assessment method for arriving at the real estate values used to calculate tax bills.

Methodologies for the way the office comes up with home values is murky, said Council President Darrell Clarke.

“They were so inconsistent that we felt we needed to go out and get a third-party source to review what was put forth,” Clarke said.

The values can vary on the same block, Councilman Kenyatta Johnson said, and that’s unified diverse parties in outrage.

“We’ve seen property assessments all across the board significantly increase the taxes of all residents.
This is one of the few things that have brought my new residents and my long-term residents together,” Johnson said.

The $160,000 study should be completed by September, and office officials are cooperating with the review.

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