Mayor Nutter Launches a New Real Estate Tax Program for Longtime Homeowners
Dec 03, 2013
Philadelphia, December 3, 2013[-]
– Mayor Michael A. Nutter, joined by City officials, announced the launch of PHL Tax LOOP, the Longtime Owner Occupants Program, a new Real Estate Tax relief program for eligible Philadelphia homeowners. This week, the City of Philadelphia began mailing information packets, including a pre-filled application, to 80,000 properties based on preliminary eligibility requirements. The LOOP application deadline is Wednesday, January 15, 2014.
“Our new property tax system is fair and accurate for all Philadelphians – but fairer and more accurate values meant large Real Estate Tax increases for some homeowners,” said Mayor Nutter. “In the current budget, working with City Council, we set aside $20 million to help longtime homeowners by offering Real Estate Tax relief. PHL Tax LOOP is an opportunity for property owners to receive savings on their Tax Year (TY) 14 Real Estate Taxes. I want to encourage every eligible Philadelphian to apply for this important discount.”
Eligibility requirements for PHL Tax LOOP are as follows:
• The TY14 market value of the property minus the $30,000 Homestead Exemption is triple the TY13 property value;
• The property must be either a single-family dwelling or a multi-unit property with up to three residential units and one commercial unit;
• The property must be the primary residence of the owner since at least July 1, 2003;
• The property does not currently have, or ever had, a tax abatement;
• The Real Estate Taxes for the property must be up-to-date; the owner must be current on an existing payment agreement or the owner must have applied to enter into a payment agreement;
• And the homeowner meets income requirements based on household size.
In order to qualify for LOOP Real Estate Tax savings, applicants must meet all eligibility requirements and apply by January 15, 2014. Once approved, homeowners enrolled in LOOP will receive the real estate taxes discount for 10 years.
The LOOP discount will vary based on property values. Approved LOOP applicants will have their TY14 Real Estate taxes calculated using the TY14 tax rate of 1.34% multiplied by three times the TY13 property value.
All applicants will be notified by a decision letter in March 2014. Due to the LOOP timeline, a new Real Estate Tax payment procedure has been outlined for LOOP applicants. Homeowners applying for LOOP should pay the discounted amount indicated on the brochure received in the information packet by the real estate tax due date, March 31, 2014 or February 28, 2014 to receive an additional 1% discount. If approved, no further action is needed. If an application is denied, the property owner must pay the balance due, the difference between the reduced amount due with the LOOP discount and the amount due without LOOP, by April 30, 2014 to avoid interest or penalties.
If a homeowner pays real estate taxes through their mortgage company, the City will notify the mortgage company of the new amount due if the LOOP application is approved.
Individuals should apply for LOOP whether or not they have received the Homestead Exemption.
TY14 Real Estate Tax bills for all Philadelphia properties will be mailed on December 9, 2013. These bills will not indicate if a property is LOOP eligible.
For more information on LOOP, log onto www.phila.gov/LOOP
. For questions and assistance, please call 215-686-9200. Information is available online and by phone in multiple languages.
In addition to these resources, the City of Philadelphia has created a helpful widget to determine if a property is eligible for LOOP. The “Am I Eligible?” widget is available through www.phila.gov/LOOP
For New Homebuyers: 2014 Homestead Exemption Deadline Extended to December 1, 2013
Sep 13, 2013
New homebuyers (including property transfers) will have until Dec. 1, 2013, to apply and receive the Homestead Exemption for Tax Year 2014. Phila. Code §19-1301.1 states:
- Applications submitted between September 14, 2013 and December 1, 2013, will be considered timely only in the event that a property transfer takes place after August 15, 2013 and only in the event that the owner applies within 30 days of the property transfer, and
- No applications submitted after December 1, 2013 will be processed for Tax Year 2014 under any circumstances--instead, they will be processed for Tax Year 2015.
Based on the information provided above, new homebuyers can apply for the Homestead Exemption and still have it applied towards Tax Year 2014.
The eligibility remains the same: applicants must own and live in the property as their primary residence.
In order to apply for the new homeowner Homestead, applicants they should submit the following:
- A completed and signed (signature must be hand-written) paper Homestead Exemption application.
- The Homestead Affidavit, noting the date of purchase on the allotted line. Applicants are advised of the importance in including the date of purchase in order to be differentiated from other homeowners who may have missed the Homestead deadline. Without this, applications received will be processed for Tax Year 2015.
- A copy of the deed reflecting ownership. If the deed is not yet available, then applicants should submit appropriate documentation from their settlement, such as the HUD-1.
Once completed, the property owner should mail the documents to the PO Box listed on the Homestead application within 30 days of the property transfer and no later than Dec. 1, 2013. Due to the timing of when tax bills are compiled and printed, the bills for these new homeowners will not reflect the Exemption amount and the Revenue Department will, instead, issue refunds.
For more information or questions, contact the Homestead Hotline at 215-686-9200 or download the Homestead/New Homebuyer "packet."
Don't Miss the Homestead Deadline
Sep 11, 2013
As a reminder for all Philadelphia homeowners, the Homestead deadline of Friday, Sept. 13, 2013
is quickly approaching, in order to receive real estate tax savings of up to $402 for Tax Year 2014 and beyond. The only requirements for the program are that you own your home and live in it as your primary residence. There are no age or income requirements. Homeowners with mortgages are also eligible.
There are three easy ways to apply:
- Call the Homestead Hotline at 215-686-9200 and apply over the phone.
- Apply online.
- Print a paper Homestead application and mail it to the PO Box listed on the application OR drop the application off at one of the following locations:
- 311 Walk-In Center at City Hall (Rm. 167)
- Concourse-level of the Municipal Services Building, 1601 JFK Blvd.
- North Philadelphia Municipal Services Center, 2761 N. 22nd St.
- Northeast Municipal Services Center, 9239 (rear) Roosevelt Blvd.
- Office of Property Assessment, Curtis Center, 601 Walnut St., 3West
If you previously applied for the Homestead, but aren't sure if you've been approved, you can use the OPA's Property Search
to search by your property address. The second tab--'Account Details'--will reflect the Homestead approval. You can also use the AVI Calculator
to view your status and estimate your property taxes for Tax Year 2014.
Once you are enrolled in the program, the Homestead Exemption will remain on your property for as long as you own the property or until the deed to the property changes. As a reminder--if you previously applied and were approved for the Homestead, but made ANY type of deed change afterwards (such as adding, removing or changing a name), you MUST reapply for the Homestead by Friday, Sept. 13, 2013.
If you miss the Sept. 13th Homestead deadline, you can still apply, however, it will be processed for Tax Year 2015. The deadline for TY15 is September, 13, 2014.
Homestead Hotline Hours Extended
Sep 09, 2013
The Office of Property Assessment's Homestead Hotline will operate on extended hours through the Homestead Exemption application deadline on Friday, September 13, 2013.
The Hotline will be open:
- Monday, September 9th through Thursday, September 12th from 8 am – 8 pm; and
- Friday, September 13th from 8 am – 8:30 pm
The Homestead Exemption is a property tax relief program available to all Philadelphians who own and live in their property as their primary residence. If approved for the Homestead Exemption, property owners will be able to reduce the taxable value for their property by $30,000. Applications can be completed online
or over the phone by calling the Office of Property Assessment Hotline at 215-686-9200.
Get more more information
or call the Hotline at 215-686-9200. Or visit avicalculator.phila.gov
to estimate property taxes for 2014.
City of Philadelphia to Host Telephone Town Hall Meetings on Property Taxes, September 3 and 10.
Aug 30, 2013
The City of Philadelphia will host two Telephone Town Hall meetings to discuss property taxes. City officials will answer caller questions about the Actual Value Initiative and property tax relief programs, including the Homestead Exemption.
"This year, the City’s new fair, accurate and understandable property tax system will take effect. Our Administration has been working diligently to ensure that every citizen understands the changes at hand and participates in the relief measures available to them, especially the Homestead Exemption," said Mayor Michael A. Nutter. "These Telephone Town Halls, like the information sessions earlier this year, are critical to creating a dialogue and keeping the public engaged. I hope that citizens take advantage of this important opportunity."
The first telephone town hall is scheduled for Tuesday, September 3 and will begin at 7:15 pm and conclude at 8:15 pm. The second telephone town hall is scheduled for Tuesday, September 10 and will begin at 6:45 pm and conclude at 7:45pm. Finance Director Rob Dubow, Chief Assessment Officer Richie McKeithen and Revenue Commissioner Clarena Tolson will answer questions during both Telephone Town Hall meetings.
Interested residents can pre-register for the town hall by visiting the links below or by calling 215-686-9200. Individuals who pre-register will receive a call from the town hall when the session begins. Residents can also join the town hall without pre-registering by calling 1-877-229-8493 and using the ID code 111479 during the town hall session.
For more information, property owners can call the Office of Property Assessment Homestead/Actual Value Initiative hotline at 215-686-9200 or go online to www.phila.gov/opa
. Or visit avicalculator.phila.gov
to estimate property taxes for 2014. Registration for the Telephone Town Halls:
- September 3, 7:15pm to 8:15pm (9/4--Note: Registration for this Town Hall has now closed. Please register for the 9/10 event.)
- September 10, 6:45pm to 7:45pm (9/11--Note: Registration for this Town Hall has now closed.)
Property Assessment Methodology Released
Apr 26, 2013
Today, the Office of Property Assessment (OPA) released a presentation
detailing the key steps and processes taken by the OPA to estimate real property values for tax purposes for single family residential properties.
Presentation on Commercial Assessments
Mar 22, 2013
On March 22, 2013, the Office of Property Assessment, in conjunction with the Commerce Department, made a presentation to representatives of small/medium commercial properties about the Actual Value Initiative. Download the presentation
Transcript of March 11th Tele Town Hall Released
Mar 21, 2013
On March 11, 2013, the City of Philadelphia held its first Telephone Town Hall to inform Philadelphians about the changes to the city's real estate tax system, otherwise known as the Actual Value Initiative or 'AVI'. Callers were able to listen and ask questions of the City officials who took part in the call, including Richie McKeithen, Chief Assessment Officer of the Office of Property Assessment (OPA), Rob Dubow, Director of Finance for the City, and Marisa Waxman, Assistant Administrator with the OPA.
In addition to information already available on the City's website and the OPA's website, helpful information can be found in the questions and answers of the Tele Town Hall transcript.
As a result of the positive response to the first Town Hall, two more Tele Town Halls have been scheduled for March 27 and March 28. If you would like to call in to the Town Hall and/or pose a question to City officials, please register via the link(s) below (you may register for both). At the appointed time, you will receive a phone call allowing you to access the Town Hall. Those calling in will be able to ask questions about the assessment process, the new property values assigned to all properties – residential, commercial and industrial – in the city, the Homestead Exemption, and changes to the property tax rate in Philadelphia.
- Register for the second Tele Town Hall which will be held on Wednesday, March 27, 2013, from 6:55pm - 7:55pm, Eastern Standard Time.
- Register for the third Tele Town Hall which will be held on Thursday, March 28, 2013, from 6:55pm - 7:55pm, Eastern Standard Time.
PLEASE NOTE: When registering, E-mail addresses are NOT required.
Residents can also join the Town Hall without pre-registering by calling 1-877-229-8943 and using the ID code 111479 during the session (number and code apply to both calls).
Additional Tele Town Hall Dates & AVI Outreach Sessions Announced
Mar 12, 2013
The City of Philadelphia announced two additional dates for live toll-free Telephone (Tele) Town Halls, as a follow-up to the first Tele Town Hall held on March 11, 2013. The Town Halls are designed to inform Philadelphians about changes to the City's real estate tax system (otherwise known as the Actual Value Initiative or 'AVI'). If you would like to listen into the Town Hall and/or pose a question to City officials, please register via the link(s) below (you may register for both). At the appointed time, you will receive a phone call allowing you to access the Town Hall. Those calling in will be able to ask questions about the assessment process, the new property values assigned to all properties – residential, commercial and industrial – in the city, the Homestead Exemption, and changes to the property tax rate in Philadelphia.
- Register for the second Tele Town Hall which will be held on Wednesday, March 27, 2013, from 6:55pm - 7:55pm, Eastern Standard Time.
- Register for the third Tele Town Hall which will be held on Thursday, March 28, 2013, from 6:55pm - 7:55pm, Eastern Standard Time.
PLEASE NOTE: When registering, E-mail addresses are NOT required.
Additionally, the City will continue hosting a series of one-on-one, "drop-in" outreach sessions with City staff to help residents understand AVI and how it may affect them. Residents can learn how to apply for the Homestead Exemption, how to read their Assessment Change Notice, and how to complete their First Level Review request form. Residents should bring their Assessment Change Notice and First Level Review form, which were mailed beginning February 15th. Information will also be available on other tax-relief programs.
Upcoming AVI drop-in sessions are as follows:
- Saturday, March 23, 10am-5pm – Bethel Chapel, 4100 K Street
- Saturday, March 23, 10am-5pm – Roxborough Memorial Hospital, 5800 Ridge Avenue
- Saturday, March 23, 10am-2pm – Martin Luther King High School, 6100 Stenton Avenue
- Monday, March 25, 5:30pm-8pm – Overbrook Library, 7422 Haverford Avenue
- Tuesday, March 26, 6pm-9pm – Cescaphe Ballroom, 923 N. 2nd Street
- Tuesday, March 26, 6pm-9pm – St. Paul's Baptist Church, 1000 Wallace Street
- Wednesday, March 27, 6pm-9pm – Holy Spirit School, 1845 Hartranft Street
- Wednesday, March 27, 6pm-9pm – The Philadelphia Protestant Home, 6500 Tabor Avenue
- Thursday, March 28, 9am-5:30pm – Concourse-level of the Municipal Services Building, 1401 JFK Blvd.
For more information about AVI, property owners can call 215-686-9200 or visit the OPA's website.
Attend a Community Meeting -- Learn About the Actual Value Initiative
Jan 01, 2013
Learn more about the Actual Value Initiative (AVI) – Philadelphia's system for fair, accurate, and understandable Real Estate Tax assessments and bills – by attending a community meeting. All meetings are open to the public.
Representatives will be on hand to answer any questions you might have about your property assessment and what it might mean for your property taxes in the future.
The list of scheduled meetings is as follows*:
- 2040 Christian St: January 23, 2013, at 6:30pm at the Shiloh Baptist Church for the South of South Neighbors Assoc.
- 2201 W Hunting Park Ave--PLEASE NOTE: This mtg. (Jan. 28th at 6pm at the 39th Police District) has been cancelled. Updated details will be provided when it is rescheduled.
- 2801 Frankford Ave: February 4, 2013, at 7:30pm at the Community Women's Education Project (CWEP)
- 1906 Rittenhouse Square (Ethical Society): February 6, 2013, at 7pm for the Center City Residents Assoc.
- 5835 Spruce St--PLEASE NOTE: This mtg. (Feb. 7th at 6pm at the Sayre-Morris Rec Center) has been cancelled. Updated details will be provided when it is rescheduled.
- 1290 Southampton Rd: February 12, 2013, at 7pm at the Walker Lodge
- 8900 Norwood Ave:February 12, 2013, at 7pm at the Norwood-Fontbonne Academy for the Chestnut Hill AVI Outreach
- 138 Moore St:February 13, 2013, at 7pm at the Edward O'Malley (EOM) Athletic Center for the Pennsport Civic Assoc. AVI Outreach Meeting
- 6448 Woodland Ave: February 13, 2013, at 7pm at the 12th Police District
- 43 W. Haines St:March 5, 2013, at 7pm at the 14th Police District
- 2060 Red Lion Rd:March 7, 2013, from 6pm - 9pm at the American Heritage Credit Union for an AVI "Drop-In" Session**
- 68 West Chelten Ave: March 7, 2013, from 6pm - 9pm at the Joseph Coleman Library for an AVI "Drop-In" Session**
- 819 E. Cathedral Rd: Rep. Cherelle Parker's 21st Ward Town Hall will be held on March 9, 2013, from 10am - 12pm at Immaculate Heart of Mary, Sullivan Hall
- 10th & Moore Sts: March 9, 2013, from 10am - 5pm at Ss Neumann Goretti High School for an AVI "Drop-In" Session**
- 1202 S. 20th St: March 12, 2013, at 5:30pm at the 17th Police District
- 2201 S. 16th St: March 12, 2013, at 6:30pm at the Guerin Recreation Center for the West Passyunk Neighbors Assoc.
- 43rd & Woodland Ave: March 13, 2013, at 7pm at Griffith Hall A at the University of the Sciences
- 2040 Christian St: March 13, 2013, from 6pm - 9pm at the Shiloh Baptist Church for an AVI "Drop-In" Session**
- 102 East Mermaid Lane: Rep. Cherelle Parker's 9th Ward Town Hall will be held on March 14, 2013, from 7pm - 9pm at United Cerebral Palsy
- 11201 Academy Rd: March 14, 2013, from 6pm - 9pm at Archbishop Ryan High School for an AVI "Drop-In" Session**
- 8711 Germantown Ave: March 16, 2013, from 10am - 2pm at the Chestnut Hill Library for an AVI "Drop-In" Session**
- 1737-39 Francis St: March 16, 2013, from 10am - 5pm at the Francisville Rec Center for an AVI "Drop-In" Session**
- 6059 Haverford Ave: March 18, 2013, at 6pm at the 19th Police District
- 3900 Lancaster Ave: March 19, 2013, at 6pm at the 16th Police District
- 300 W. Shunk St: March 20, 2013, at 6:30pm at the Murphy Recreation Center
- 4101 N. American St: March 21, 2013, at 4pm at the Pantoja Charter School
- 1202 E. Montgomery Ave: March 21, 2013, at 7pm at the Fishtown Rec Center
- 4100 K St: March 23, 2013, from 10am - 5pm at Bethel Chapel for an AVI "Drop-In" Session**
- 5800 Ridge Ave: March 23, 2013, from 10am - 5pm at Roxborough Memorial Hospital for an AVI "Drop-In" Session**
- 6100 Stenton Ave: March 23, 2013, from 10am - 2pm at Martin Luther King High School for an AVI "Drop-In" Session**
- 2201 W. Hunting Park Ave: March 25, 2013, at 6pm at the 39th Police District
- 7422 Haverford Ave: March 25, 2013, from 5:30pm - 8pm at the Overbrook Library for an AVI "Drop-In" Session**
- 10th & Moore Sts: March 26, 2013, at 7pm at Neumann/Goretti High School for the Passyunk Square, Lower Moyamensing, Dickinson Narrows, and East Passyunk Crossing AVI Outreach Mtg.
- 923 N. 2nd St: March 26, 2013, 6pm - 9pm at Cescaphe Ballroom for an AVI "Drop-In" Session**
- 1000 Wallace St: March 26, 2013, 6pm - 9pm at St. Paul's Baptist Church for an AVI "Drop-In" Session**
- 1845 Hartranft St: March 27, 2013, from 6pm - 9pm at Holy Spirit School for an AVI "Drop-In" Session**
- 6500 Tabor Ave: March 27, 2013, from 6pm - 9pm at the Philadelphia Protestant Home for an AVI "Drop-In" Session**
- 1401 JFK Blvd: March 28, 2013, from 9am - 5:30pm at the Municipal Services Building, Concourse-level for an AVI "Drop-In" Session**
*Note: Meeting dates/times/locations are subject to change. Please check this website for updates. For additional information about the Actual Value Initiative or the Office of Property Assessment, please call 215-686-9200.**In addition to the regular community meetings scheduled by the City/Office of Property Assessment, the City will be hosting a series of AVI-related "drop-in" events throughout March, with two in each Council District. Dates will continue being posted as locations are confirmed.
View a map of all scheduled community meetings to find one near you. Note: This map also shows past meetings/events.
Mayor Nutter Announces AVI Outreach Sessions
Mar 05, 2013
Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced a series of outreach sessions to help residents understand the Actual Value Initiative (AVI) and how it may affect them. Residents can learn how to apply for the Homestead Exemption, how to read their Assessment Change Notice and how to complete their First-Level Review Request form. Information will also be available on other tax-relief programs. Citizens can "drop-in" while the sessions are operating and meet one-on-one with City staff to learn more about the changes to the tax system.
"My Administration wants each homeowner to understand AVI and have access to necessary resources and information regarding relief measures," said Mayor Nutter. "We will host drop-in sessions throughout Philadelphia so that all residents will have the opportunity to bring their questions and concerns to knowledgeable City officials."
Property owners can bring their Assessment Change Notices with them, and trained staff will be able to explain information contained in the document. Tables will be set up to answer questions related to both tax and current relief programs and to provide forms and information on the Homestead Exemption and the First-Level Review.
The City will provide a full list of outreach sessions this week. The first three sessions will be as follows:
- March 7th at the American Heritage Federal Credit Union, 2060 Red Lion Road, 6:00 pm-9:00 pm.
- March 7th at the Joseph Coleman Library, 68 West Chelten Avenue, 6:00 pm-9:00 pm.
- March 9th at Saints John Neumann and Marie Goretti Catholic High School, 1736 South 10th Street, 10:00 am-5:00 pm.
Property owners will also be able to call into two one-hour Telephone Town Hall meetings, where City officials will take questions about the assessment process, the Homestead Exemption, the First-Level Review process, and other questions about the real estate tax changes. These are scheduled for March 11 and March 27. Details on how to participate in the Telephone Town Hall meetings will be provided later this week.
For more information about AVI, property owners can call 215-686-9200 or get information from the OPA website.
To view a video on "How to Understand Your Assessment" or "How to Apply for a First-Level Review", residents should visit Comcast>On Demand>Get Local>Government>Philadelphia>Videos or go to Phila.gov's YouTube page. Spanish language versions of these videos are also available. Other language versions of the brochures and forms are also available by calling 215-686-9200 or from the OPA website.
AVI & Homestead Exemption Language Resources Available
Feb 15, 2013
The Office of Property Assessment has made the following resources/materials available for Philadelphians who require information in other languages.
- Call 215-686-9200 for:
- Language access services, for all information and questions related to the Actual Value Initiative (AVI), including the ability to apply for the Homestead Exemption over the phone in numerous languages.
- Homestead Exemption
- The Homestead Exemption offers homeowners in Philadelphia the chance to save $30,000 (amount subject to change) from their property's assessed value, as long as they own their home and live in it as their primary residence. Homestead applications are due by July 31, 2013.
- Homestead Brochures are available in:
- Blank Homestead Exemption applications are available in:
- Or call 215-686-9200 to apply over the phone in the language you require.
- AVI Brochure and 'Where Do Your Taxes Go'
- The AVI Brochure provides a background on the purpose, value, and need for the Actual Value Initiative in Philadelphia. Taxpayers can also learn where their taxes go in the city. Both documents are combined into one file and available to download in:
- How to Read Your Assessment Notice
- Residential First Level Review Form
- Learn more about the Actual Value Initiative and how to read your Assessment Notice or get information about the First-Level Review process in these informative videos.
Tangled Titles & the Homestead Exemption
Feb 01, 2013
For many Philadelphia residents, the property they call their own might not be, according to the City of Philadelphia’s records. For example, you may have inherited a property from a now-deceased relative, and live there as your primary residence, pay the taxes and utility bills, and maintain any necessary upkeep—all the responsibilities that would a regular homeowner would take care of. However, in this case, your name is not on the deed as the owner. We call this a “tangled title”— where you have an equitable ownership interest in the property but are not listed on the deed.
So what happens when it comes time to apply for the Homestead Exemption, which offers $30,000 in tax savings to Philadelphians who own their property and reside in it as their primary residence?
You may have already applied and been told that your application was not approved due to your name not matching the name listed on the deed. With the hopes of making this program available to all eligible homeowners, the City/OPA has created a process for approving a conditional Homestead Exemption for three (3) years for people with tangled titles, with the understanding that the deed to the property will be untangled within that time. Once the title is untangled, you will be eligible for the standard Homestead Exemption, which will remain on the property as long as you own it and continue to live in it as your primary residence.
You may be eligible for the three-year, conditional Homestead if:
- You have inherited the house in which you live from a deceased relative, but the deceased relative’s name is on the most recent deed and your name is not;
- A fraudulent mortgage or deed was recorded for your house; or
- You entered into a rent-to-own agreement (also called lease/purchase agreements or installment land contracts) to buy the house and have paid all or some of the purchase price for the house, but your name is not on the deed to the house.
In order to receive the conditional Homestead Exemption, you must submit:
- A paper Homestead application
- A completed and signed Homestead Affidavit
- Provide two (2) copies of the following, showing your name and the address of the property you are seeking the Homestead Exemption for:
- Government-issued ID--Acceptable forms are:
- Photo IDs issued by the U.S. Federal Government or the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (including the Department of State Voter ID Card)
- PA Driver's License or Non-Driver's License Photo ID
- Valid U.S. Passport
- U.S. military ID--active duty and retired military (a military or veteran's ID must designate an expiration date or designate that the expiration date is indefinite). Military dependents’ ID must contain an expiration date.
- Employee Photo ID issued by Federal, PA, PA County or PA Municipal government
- Utility Bills: PGW, Water Revenue, PECO, or cable from the last 6 months
- Voter Registration Card
- Lease/purchase or rent-to-own agreement
- Mortgage Agreement
Once you have all of the necessary documents together, mail to:
Office of Property Assessment
P.O. Box 52817
Philadelphia, PA 19115
The Homestead application deadline is September 13, 2013 (to have it applied for Tax Year 2014).
As a reminder, in the case of tangled titles, being approved for Homestead Exemption is only on a conditional basis—and with the understanding that the deed will be corrected/updated and you must meet the other eligibility criteria for the program. If, upon three years, the deed to the property has not been changed, the Homestead Exemption will be removed.
Aggregate Value for All Property in Philadelphia Announced
Dec 19, 2012
Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced that the City of Philadelphia has reached an important milestone in the transition to the Actual Value Initiative (AVI), the approximate total aggregate value for all property in Philadelphia. The approximate taxable value under AVI is $96.5 billion for residential, commercial and industrial properties. Under the current system, the value of taxable properties is $38 billion.
Mayor Nutter described the multi-billion dollar property value as approximate because an estimated 16,000 parcels, or 3% of properties, have anomalies and must be rechecked. The Office of Property Assessment (OPA) is working to confirm values for those properties, which will change the overall number of $96.5 billion.
“For decades, our property assessment system was completely broken. We had a fundamentally bad system that produced inaccurate data, resulting in an unfair system for Philadelphians,” said Mayor Nutter. “Under AVI, properties have been assessed accurately and fairly the tax formula will be easier to understand. A larger aggregate value means a significantly lower tax rate and higher property values, which is a good thing for our great City and its citizens.”
With the $96.5 billion approximate taxable value and the Administration’s intention to generate the same revenue under AVI in 2014 as the current system generates in 2013, the projected tax rate is around 1.3% with no tax relief and about 1.4% factoring in the Homestead Exemption relief.
Learn more about the OPA's Property Data for Tax Year 2014 or view Mayor Nutter's message on AVI.
AVI's Effect on Abatements
Dec 12, 2012
With the Actual Value Initiative (AVI) on the horizon for Tax Year 2014, many property owners in Philadelphia may be wondering how the change in property assessments will affect properties with 10-year tax abatements. Along with all other properties in the city, abated properties have been assessed as part of AVI. It is important to remember that an abatement is only on the structure and not on the land. So, while the purpose of abatements offered by the Office of Property Assessment has not changed, it is still possible that owners of abated properties will see a change (either an increase or decrease) in property taxes due to a change in land or taxable improvement value.
The following will occur with AVI:
- For new construction, a new value for the land and improvements to the property will be generated. The entire amount of the improvements will be abated, but the new value of the land (which can change, even for recent, ground-up construction) will be fully taxed.
- For rehabs, new values for the land and improvements to the property will be generated. The new land value will be fully taxed. The percentage of the improvement abated in Tax Year 2013 will be carried over and will be the percentage of the improvement abated for Tax Year 2014. So, if 50% of the improvement was abated before, then 50% of the new improvement value will be abated.
All property owners, including those with abated properties, will receive notification of the new market values for Tax Year 2014 in February 2013.
Learn more about the different abatements offered by the Office of Property Assessment.
The History of Property Taxes
Oct 01, 2012
For a little more background on the origin of property taxes, check out a paper by Richard Henry Carlson that was presented at an International Association of Assessing Officers meeting in 2004.
Did you know?
- The earliest known tax records, dating from approximately six thousand years B.C., are in the form of clay tablets found in the ancient city-state of Lagash in modern day Iraq.
- In Egypt, tax assessors were highly valued people because of their skills with hieroglyphics and their ability to collect revenue. Often when a king died, the assessor was the only staff person not killed and buried along with the king, so valued was his service.
- In the 11th century, Lady Godiva rode naked on a white horse through the streets of Coventry, England to protest the tax assessment on her husband’s property. He received an abatement. (In Philadelphia, we have a form you can fill out for that – no horse required).
Assessment for the Masses
Sep 24, 2012
The Office of Property Assessment (OPA) does Mass Appraisal for properties in Philadelphia. The International Association of Assessing Officers defines Mass Appraisal as “valuing a group of properties as of a given date using common data, standardized methods, and statistical testing.” This is different than the type of appraisal you might have done when you are refinancing your mortgage or buying a home, which is called an individual or fee appraisal.
With more than a half a million properties to value each year, the OPA, like property assessment offices across the country, uses Mass Appraisal to efficiently and economically determine a property’s worth. While no two properties can ever be exactly the same, Mass Appraisal allows the OPA to identify which properties are similar in terms of size, age, condition, use, and location, and assign them similar values.
In contrast, the fee appraisal looks as just one property in great detail. While this provides more information for the appraiser to consider when determining the value, it requires more time and effort, including the need to get inside every nook and cranny of the building. This just isn’t practical when you have 579,000 properties to value each year, like the City does.
Considering the fact that a fee appraisal can cost $500 for a house, it would cost $289 million to appraise all the properties in Philadelphia each year using this method — more than 200 times the OPA budget for Fiscal Year 2013. That’s about $0.30 for each $1 that the Real Estate Tax generates. With Mass Appraisal, the City of Philadelphia pays just $0.01 for assessment per $1 collected from the Real Estate Tax.
With Mass Appraisal, the OPA can determine fair, accurate, and understandable property values with more bang for the taxpayer dollar.
Sep 11, 2012
The City is offering all Philadelphia homeowners a reduction in their property’s taxable assessed value, effective in Tax Year 2014. A Homestead Exemption means that if your home has been assessed at $100,000, for example, you will qualify for an Exemption of $30,000*, and will only pay taxes based on $70,000.
Qualifying for a Homestead Exemption requires only two things—that you own your home and reside in it. What’s more, once you are approved for the Exemption, there is no need to reapply each year, unless the deed to your home changes.
Apply today—all homeowners should have received a Homestead Exemption application in the mail in early September 2012—but it can also be completed online.
We encourage you to return your application by November 15, 2012, so that the application can be processed and you can be notified if you have qualified when you receive your Tax Year 2014 Assessment Change Notice in February 2013. However, applications can still be submitted after Nov. 15th and will continue to be processed. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to save money on your Real Estate Taxes.
Learn more about the Homestead Exemption.
*the exemption amount may be subject to change
Fielding Questions on Field Inspections
Sep 01, 2012
As part of the citywide reassessment for Tax Year 2014, the Office of Property Assessment (OPA) began a huge task: assessing the 579,000 parcels in the city of Philadelphia. Beginning in August 2011, the OPA Evaluators divided the city into sections and began canvassing neighborhoods, conducting field inspections of properties.
How does a field inspection work? An Evaluator will visit your property and hopefully, speak with you (as the property owner and/or whoever the correct person is) to get better information about the property. This is a great time to correct any inaccurate or out-of-date information that the OPA may have previously recorded about your property, or for you to share if you have made any improvements to the property. The Evaluator may take pictures of your property for documentation purposes as well as doing an inspection of the outside, and may even ask to enter your property—however, this is entirely up to you; it is NOT required. OPA Evaluators will always carry City-issued identification.
Keep an eye out for an Evaluator—as part of the City’s goal to have accurate property assessments, the OPA will be doing these same types of field inspections on a yearly basis.
Learn more about the OPA's field inspections.
Mailing of Homestead Exemption Applications Announced
Aug 28, 2012
Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced that Homestead Exemption applications are being mailed to Philadelphia homeowners. To ensure easy and fast completion, mailed applications will be pre-filled with the account number, address and owner’s name. Applications are also available online.
“In this challenging economy, it is critical for individuals to take advantage of every available savings opportunity. I want to encourage every Philadelphia homeowner to apply for the Homestead Exemption. This tax saving program is open to anyone who owns a permanent residence and will help put extra money in their pockets,” said Mayor Nutter.
The Philadelphia Homestead Exemption offers Real Estate Tax savings to homeowners by reducing the taxable portion of their property assessment by $30,000 (the exemption amount may be subject to change). In order to have the Homestead Exemption reflected on the Tax Year 2014 Assessment Change Notice, applications should be received by November 15, 2012. Assessment Change Notices will be mailed in February 2013.
Applications that had been submitted previously will be processed. There is no need to submit an additional application unless individuals have moved or their deed has changed.
Only primary residences are eligible for Homestead Exemption. Individuals who own vacation or rental properties are not eligible for the Homestead Exemption for those properties. If a homeowner’s property includes commercial or rental space, homeowners are still eligible to receive the Homestead Exemption for the portion of the property that is their primary residence. Co-op residents are also eligible to apply.
Watch the Mayor's press conference. View the Homestead presentation that was featured at the press conference. Learn more about the Homestead Exemption.
New Beginnings for Rehabs
Aug 16, 2012
When Does the Ten-Year Tax Abatement Start?
Everyone knows that Philadelphia has a ten-year tax abatement, but what’s a little less well known is when that ten-year "clock" starts ticking.
For residential properties that are rehabbed (rather than built from scratch) and are/will be owner-occupied, the abatement starts on January 1st of the year after the work is completed. Rehabs of owner-occupied homes don’t have to be sold or have the title change for the abatement to start, but a certification that the work has been completed must be submitted before the abatement will start.
For new homes, the abatement starts one month after the title/sale date for the property.
Commercial and industrial properties (included residential rental properties) that are either new construction or rehabs will have a January 1st start date for the abatement in the year following the issuance of a certificate of occupancy from the Department of Licenses and Inspections (or an affidavit if the certificate of occupancy is not required by L&I).
Remember, the abatement will not be implemented until work is complete and the new owner or developer submits a certification (either an affidavit or a certificate of occupancy from the Department of Licenses & Inspections). Abatements will be removed if the owner does not remain tax compliant.
Learn more about the abatements offered by the Office of Property Assessment.