Philly Controller says city has to improve tax lein sales

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Philadelphia’s City Controller says tax lien sales are producing disappointing results.

Controller Alan Butkovitz says the city was only able to get rid  of one quarter of the tax liens it had hoped to sell in 2015.

“They brought in $3 million,” he said.  “There’s an awful lot of blank spaces to be filled in on exactly what they did wrong.  I think it was a disappointing result.”

Butkovitz says selling off the liens is essential to helping the city recover millions of dollars in back taxes.

“The city apparently did not analyze the liens so the ones that were the most marketable were being pushed and they even ended up selling some of the liens to people that are already listed to people who are tax delinquents themselves,” he said.

Revenue Commissioner Frank Breslin says his department continues to refine its approach to tax lien sales, hoping to maximize sales and encourage other property owners to pay taxes on time.

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