Councilman proposes tax-break extension for longtime Philly homeowners

     Second Street in Philadelphia's Queen Village neighborhood where homeowners are facing a median tax hike of more than $1,000 (Emma Lee/NewsWorks Photo, file)

    Second Street in Philadelphia's Queen Village neighborhood where homeowners are facing a median tax hike of more than $1,000 (Emma Lee/NewsWorks Photo, file)

    Philadelphia Councilman Kenyatta Johnson is worried that residents in gentrified areas of the city might be priced out of their homes unless a property tax break is expanded.

    Currently, city residents can participate in the Longtime Owner-Occupants Program (LOOP) if they’ve owned their homes for more than a decade and had their property tax assessment more than triple between the 2013 and 2014 tax years. (In this calculation, one must subtract the $30,000 value of the city’s homestead exemption from the 2014 assessment.)  

    For eligible residents, the tax break caps a house’s assessment at three times its original amount for 10 years.

    Under a new bill sponsored by Johnson, the assessment would stay capped until a home is sold or transferred to another owner.

    “I’ve had a significant amount of constituents express their concerns on what they are going to do after the 10-year LOOP extension program is over,” said Johnson. “We want to make sure that after their 10-year tax relief … is over, they still won’t be forced out of their homes through tax delinquency or mortgage foreclosure.”

    Johnson said that extending the tax break will be “relatively inexpensive” for the city.

    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.