The Office of Property Assessment (OPA) determines the value of all real property in Philadelphia. OPA is dedicated to doing so in a fair, accurate, and understandable way so that properties of the same value are assessed and taxed at the same rate.
How OPA assesses property
A fair assessment process ensures that similar properties have an equal tax burden. To assess a property, the OPA considers many factors, including:
- Size and age of the property.
- Location and condition.
- Use (home or business).
The OPA uses information from:
- Field inspections.
- Aerial photography.
- Data from other City departments, such as permits and deeds.
- Commercial sources, like property listings and sales data.
The OPA also reviews sales data to identify where similar properties are selling for similar prices. These Geographical Market Areas (GMAs) are more specific than neighborhood breakdowns.
The OPA provides detailed information about their methods for assessing properties.
Notice of Proposed Valuation
The Office of Property Assessment (OPA) issues Notices of Proposed Valuation to inform property owners that the assessed value of their property has changed. The notice is not a bill, but it does contain important information that will impact your property taxes. If you do not receive a notice, it means that there has been no change in your property’s value from the previous year.
If you believe you should have received a notice and haven’t received it, it may have been delayed or your mailing address may be outdated. Contact the Office of Property Assessment at (215) 686-4334.
First Level Review (FLR)
If your property has been reassessed and you believe the new value is incorrect, you can request a First Level Review (FLR). You must be able to prove one of the following:
- The estimated market value of your home is too high or too low.
- The estimated market value of your property is accurate, but inequitable.
- The characteristics of your property that affect its value are substantially incorrect. (This includes a missing or incorrect abatement or exemption.)
How to file
The form to request an FLR is included with Notices of Proposed Valuation. If you do not receive or misplace your FLR form, contact (215) 686-9200 to request a replacement form.
Complete and submit the FLR request form. Include any additional information for the Office of Property Assessment (OPA) to consider, such as photos or recent appraisals.
If the property owner wants to have someone else carry out the FLR process on their behalf, they must complete the authorized representative form, have it notarized, and include it with the FLR request form.
Commercial and multi-family properties
To request an FLR for commercial and multi-family properties, you must also include income and expense forms for the last two years.
If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the review or decide to skip the FLR process altogether, you may file a formal appeal with the Board of Revision of Taxes (BRT). Formal appeals are due to the BRT by the first Monday in October.
Property assessment data
You can buy a CD containing more extensive property data from the OPA. You can also download this property data for free.
The CD contains five files: property, street code, building code, off property, and land use. It contains all properties currently in the OPA’s files for the City of Philadelphia. All files are formatted as comma-delimited text.
To buy the CD, send a request on your letterhead. You must also include a check for $100 made payable to the City of Philadelphia. Mail your request to:
City of Philadelphia
Office of Property Assessment/IT Division
601 Walnut St., Suite 300 West
Philadelphia, PA 19106