Pew report illustrates how Philadelphia’s property tax system became so unfair

    The new property tax assessments for Philadelphia will be sent out in February. This is one-step in the city’s effort to more accurately tax residential and commerical properties. Over the past decades, inequities became apparent that included many of the city’s poorest residents paying taxes at a higher rate. 

    A new report from PEW’s Philadelphia Research Initiative documents many of the current tax system’s biggest problems.

    Among the key findings of this report:

    A central reason why the city’s assessment system has become plagued with inequities is that the state does not regulate it. Pennsylvania is one of only nine states that impose no reassessment timetables or standard assessment methods on local governments. 

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    One reason Philadelphians have been relatively complacent about longstanding inequities in assessments, analysts say, is that they pay less in property taxes (and more in wage taxes) than residents of many other jurisdictions.


    Read the full report


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