Philly may let those unable to pay their property taxes defer payments

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 Philadelphia City Council members listen to testimony (Tom MacDonald, WHYY)

Philadelphia City Council members listen to testimony (Tom MacDonald, WHYY)

Philadelphia City Council is debating a new proposal for helping longtime residents from losing their homes because of back taxes. 

The property tax diversion program would give people the opportunity to pay what they can and divert their taxes until the home is sold.  That would help homeowners who otherwise would have the house sold off to pay the overdue tax bill.  

Rocco Labrosciano lives on a $700 a month disability check after getting shot six times.  He said he just can’t afford the property taxes

“If I lose my home I don’t have anywhere to go, i’ve lived there all my life, I don’t know any other house.  I’ve tried everything in my power to do everything that I can but I don’t, it doesn’t cover anything.”

Irwin Trauss of Philadelphia Legal Assistance said this kind of story is all too common.

“Tax sales that are taking place are tax sales of people who have fallen through the safety net because they are infirmed elderly or have insufficient incomes to pay the taxes on their homes.”

Those getting relief would also go through financial counseling.

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