Pa. bills soften blow of Philadelphia tax reassessment

    The Pennsylvania Senate passed three bills this week aimed at easing the pain of Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter’s property tax reassessment.

    The overhaul is raising taxes for some residents, while others are seeing a windfall.

    The first bill, sponsored by state Rep. Cherelle Parker, D-Philadelphia, will let the city place liens on properties owned by tax delinquents in other parts of the state. She said it will help the city crack down on tax deadbeats.

    “When we think of tax delinquents in the city of Philadelphia, I thought that the majority of those were from residents who lived here. When, in fact, that is not the case,” said Parker. “It is people who live outside of the city of Philadelphia, but own property here.”

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    The second bill will allow the city to use a means test when deciding whether residents should recieve a tax break known as “gentrification relief.” It is meant to ensure that wealthy homeowners don’t unfairly benefit from the break.

    Those two pieces of legislation have already been approved by the state House.

    A third bill will permit some homeowners to pay their property taxes in installments. The House, which approved a previous draft of the legislation, must now concur on the Senate’s version before it heads to Gov. Tom Corbett’s desk.

    Corbett is expected to sign all three bills.

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