Does Philly need a ‘hardship exemption’ on property taxes?

Philadelphia rowhomes (WHYY file)

Philadelphia rowhomes (WHYY file)

A Philadelphia City Councilwoman wants to set up a “hardship” program for those who need assistance in paying their real estate taxes. 

Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez says there are Philadelphia homeowners who don’t qualify for programs such as the Homestead Exemption and Longtime Owner Occupant but need assistance and deserve a “hardship exemption.”

“Just to give you an example if you were denied you were given a notice and had 10 days to appeal the notice but those notices did not go out in any language other than English, for all programs,” she said. 

Assistance has become a much bigger issue since Philadelphia re-assessed every home and business as part of a city-wide property tax overhaul known as the Actual Value Initiative.

Quinones-Sanchez says she’s been receiving complaints from people who should qualify for tax assistance but are caught up in governmental red tape.

“We’ve seen a lot of tangled title issues where people are estate planning where there are some issues with the title so we think we have the responsibility to go back and figure those out and give the administration the flexibility to review them those but also give people a right to appeal those denials.”

The councilwoman says her goal is to make sure everyone who is entitled to help paying property taxes receives it.

A hearing has not been scheduled for her legislation.



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