Philly City Council committee backs $30,000 homestead rebate, 1.34 % tax rate

    A Philadelphia City Council committee passed a 1.34 percent real estate tax rate along with a homestead rebate of $30,000 Wednesday.

    Council President Darrell Clarke said the exemption at $30,000, the amount eligible homeowners can deduct from their assessments before the tax rate is applied, is an important key to the implementation of the Actual Value Initiative — along with setting the real estate tax at 1.34 percent.

    “I think it was a reasonable approach to providing this level of a rate in addition to which means additional levels of protection for those who cannot pay their tax bills,” he said.

    One of those additional levels of protection is a bill by Councilman Kenyatta Johnson to allow residents to defer paying new taxes until they sell their home. Clarke said that also helps those who cannot afford their higher taxes.

    “There are currently two, maybe three additional bills, on the calendar, which could be moved within the next week,” he said. “One relates to the operating budget, which we have to do. The gentrification, which we are still awaiting, needs based authorization from the state, and ‘liquor-by-the-drink’ (tax.)”

    Although there is strong opposition to the liquor tax, Clarke says it is not dead … yet.

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