Philly doing better with property tax collection

Philadelphia has come under fire in recent years for doing a lousy job collecting property taxes.

The problem has been the subject of a series of City Council hearings, and Mayor Michael Nutter and the Pennsylvania General Assembly have taken numerous steps to try to address it.

A new report by the Pew Charitable Trusts suggests the extra attention is paying off. Pew found that in 2011, 9 percent of the property taxes in Philadelphia were not paid the year they were due. In 2013, the city’s tax deliquency rate fell to 6 percent.

“Catching the early delinquencies, getting them as soon as they become late, sometimes even before they become deliquent … Philadelphia apparently has done a lot to improve on that,” said Tom Ginsberg, a project manager at Pew. The city has “improved quite a bit on essentially preventing the flow of new delinquencies into this giant problem.”

Among the 36 cities review by Pew, Philadelphia still had the eighth-highest property tax deliquency rate in 2013. That’s down from fifth in 2011.

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