City delays again fix to property assessment system

    In Philadelphia there are two factors that determine how much tax people pay on their home: the dollar value assessed by the Board of Revision of Taxes, and the property tax rate set by City Council. The city’s been working toward a new, simpler system where properties would be assessed their actual value.

    In Philadelphia there are two factors that determine how much tax people pay on their home: the dollar value assessed by the Board of Revision of Taxes, and the property tax rate set by City Council. The city’s been working toward a new, simpler system where properties would be assessed their actual value. WHYY’s Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

    Script:
    The Board of Revision of Taxes (BRT) says it has almost completed its work in revaluing properties, but city officials say they don’t expect to switch to the new tax system for another year. Uri Monson leads the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority.  He says the BRT doesn’t need approval from City Council or the Mayor to adopt the new property values. But Monson says concerns about the public’s response could be causing officials to tread cautiously in the tax transition.

    Monson: “If they did the new values under the new system with the old rates, the tax figures would be so much higher than they are now that it would cause other problems. It’d basically be like tripling the taxes, which is not a good way to do the process.”

    Monson says once officials know the full property values, they can adjust the city’s property tax rate to make sure homeowners aren’t taxed unfairly, but the city is still getting the revenue it needs.

    Listen:
    Click on the play button below or right click on this link and choose “Save Link As” to download.

    [audio: reports20090227tax.mp3]

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.