Philly City Council approves subpoena for a peek behind property tax assessments

Philadelphia City Council is subpoenaing the specific information used in creating this year’s new property tax assessments.

Councilman David Oh says council members and homeowners alike need to see the exact formulas and samples used to create the new assessments.  Oh says a 15 page explanation offered by the Office of Property Assessment or OPA is not enough.

“It’s kind of like providing a recipe on making a salad, and generally saying ‘you chop up some vegetables, you mix em together and throw some dressing on it.'” said Oh. “You can’t duplicate that. We need to be able to verify what was done in order to verify it’s within acceptable standards of assessments.”

Oh says he’s fed up and wants the actual formula no matter how complicated OPA says it is.

“We have asked many different times in many different ways to get the data set that was used to see exactly how the assessments are done so we can verify they are accurate and done properly,” he said.

OPA officials have testified during council budget hearings that they used an industry standard formula that is too complicated to explain to the average person.

Mayor Nutter’s spokesman Mark McDonald said the 15 page OPA explanation is sufficient.


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