For some Philly homeowners, the reassessment waiting game continues

Philadelphia residents who question their assessments have until the end this month to request a first level review from the city.  Many Philadelphia homeowners already are weighing the city’s assessment, and whether to challenge it. 

Others are behind the curve, and they’re not happy about it.

Kevin Maurer is president of The Overbrook Farms Club, which prides itself as the country’s oldest homeowners’ association.  A resident of the West Philadelphia neighborhood for nearly a dozen years, Maurer has been waiting for a piece of mail related to his three-story home.

“I have contacted my city councilman on several occasions to report the fact that, not only my property, but other properties in Overbrook Farms are not currently on the AVI website with an assessment,” he said.

What’s more, Maurer said, some area residents are on the website but have not yet received their letters. That’s an issue in case they want to file a protest against the assessment, he said.

It’s the same story for Fishtown homeowner Jim Cavanagh, who’s also still waiting.

“When we bought our house, I was pretty shocked at how low our property tax was so it going up isn’t that big of a deal per se,” he said. “It’s just the way they’ve gone about doing it, has been very shoddy and just seems very haphazard.” 

Cavanagh said he hoped for better from the city. 

“When was this announced?” he said. “And I still haven’t gotten my official letter from the city that my property tax is going to go up 150 percent.”   

Cavanagh said his neighbors are also confused, some have received their new assessments, some have not.  

And there’s longtime East Falls resident Meg Greenfield who, after firing up her computer, finally found the information she was seeking.

 “The numbers are now posted.  They were not there a week ago,” she said. “Right now I am going over the other properties on the block as we speak.” 

Greenfield, too, said she supports the reassessments but believes the process should be done with more accuracy and transparency.

Councilman Curtis Jones says he knows some are still waiting.  “We’ve sent a letter to the mayor to do a 45-day extension to the time for appeal,” Jones said. “We haven’t gotten a response back from that officially and we haven’t gotten any word as to how they will remedy people just at this point still not getting their AVI new assessments.”

A city spokesman says residents will have 30 days from receipt of their assessment to request a first level review.

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