Two Liberty condos are site of tax abatement protest

    As Philadelphia City Council hears public comments about the proposed budget, one topic that’s sure to come up is the ten year tax abatement. With the city facing a $1.4 billion budget gap over the next five years and proposing to raise property taxes, some say its time to get rid of the controversial tax break.

    As Philadelphia City Council hears public comments about the proposed budget, one topic that’s sure to come up is the ten year tax abatement. With the city facing a $1.4 billion budget gap over the next five years and proposing to raise property taxes, some say its time to get rid of the controversial tax break.

    Transcript:
    Housing advocates rallied outside of Two Liberty Place Wednesday, calling on the city to end the ten-year tax abatement. A luxury apartment in the building recently sold for $7.7 million, and enjoys the tax break.

    Marie Banks, who owns a home in North Philadelphia, says this is unfair. She pays about $600 a year in property taxes and says she can’t afford to pay more.

    Banks: “They’re down here in this beautiful building, lavender apartments and they’re paying no taxes and we have to pay our taxes. No that’s not right.”

    The tax break allows any new construction, or residential conversions to keep their tax assessments at pre-development levels for ten years.

    Developers and the Nutter administration say the additional tax revenue  that results from new residents and new home sales makes up for the loss in property tax.

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    [audio: reports20090402tax.mp3]

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