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Board of Revision of Taxes;
Board of View

[Record group 41]
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Agency Function
The Board of Revision of Taxes is charged with establishing real property assessments which serve as the basis for real estate taxes levied by the City of Philadelphia. It consists of a seven-member panel that is appointed by the Judiciary of Philadelphia and, among its other duties, hears appeals on property assessments and reviews Personal Property Returns. An Executive Director, who is appointed by and serves at the discretion of the Board of Revision of Taxes, oversees and directs Board staff.

Agency History
The Board of Revision of Taxes was established pursuant to the Consolidation Act of 1854 and charged with the function of hearing appeals from tax assessments and correcting errors and inequities in them. The Board was first composed of the City Commissioners, the City Treasurer and the Receiver of Taxes, and in 1865 two appointees of the Court of Common Pleas were substituted for the Treasurer and the Receiver, and the Commissioners' participation was limited to their senior member only. In 1867, the City Commissioner was removed, and the Board thenceforth consisted of three Court appointees; the same Act transferred powers regarding tax assessment procedures and the appointment of assessors from the City Commissioners to the Board. Under an Act of 28 April 1937, the Board's membership was increased to seven and they were assigned the function of the then-abolished Board of View of determining compensation to owners whose property is taken for public purposes. This Act abolished the existing Board and assessors and provided that the seven members of the new Board would be appointed by the Judges of the Philadelphia Common Pleas Court for six-year overlapping terms. An Act of 27 June 1939 repealed all previous acts relating to the Board of Revision of Taxes and assessors within the County of Philadelphia.

An Act of 22 June 1964 reestablished the Board of View in Philadelphia providing that the members of the Board of Revision of Taxes may be appointed to the separate Board of View. Under this act, the Board of Judges of the Philadelphia Courts of Common Pleas appointed the then seven members of the city Board of Revision, plus two others, as members of a separate Board of View.

Archival Records
41.1 Report (1940)

41.2 City Tax Assessment Ledger (1871-1896)

41.3 "Tabulated Statements of Properties" (1915-1956)

41.4 Annual Statements, Real and Personal Property (1895-1954)

41.5 Register of Tax-Exempted Properties (1880-1900, 1959)

41.6 An Analysis of the Decisions Concerning Real Estate Assessing (ca. September 1966)

41.7 Board of View, Case Files (1970-1982)

Current Records
41.c Document Summary Records

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Last updated on November 8, 2000