PHILADELPHIA- The Office of Property Assessment announced today that beginning next month, owners of commercial, industrial and institutional properties in Philadelphia will receive notices of reassessment of property values.
The notices are the result of a citywide reassessment of 65,000 properties in those categories conducted over the past year. The goal of the effort was to ensure that assessed values more accurately reflect sales and market forces, and to reduce the value inequities among comparable properties by ensuring that similar properties have similar assessments.
This involved a thorough analysis of some of Philadelphia’s most complex and high-valued parcels, including hotels, office buildings, and apartment buildings. Also reassessed were all retail properties — including shopping centers, malls, big box establishments, and department stores — as well as warehouses, commercially-zoned vacant land, and properties with multiple uses.
“This reassessment is the result of extensive research and analysis conducted by OPA’s evaluation staff and statistical modeling experts,” said Finance Director Rob Dubow. “We are confident that the final product will represent a substantial improvement to the accuracy, equity and uniformity of the City’s assessment rolls.”
The new property values are to take effect for Tax Year 2018, with property taxes due on February 28, 2018. Written notices of the new values will be mailed out starting on April 14th of this year. They will also be available online by close of business March 31, at http://www.phila.gov/OPA/Pages/PropertyInformation.aspx .
These new values are expected to bring in approximately $118 million in property tax revenues above estimates included in the City’s FY18-FY22 Five Year Plan. This would include $65 million specifically for the School District of Philadelphia. The City’s general fund would receive an additional $54 million; the Administration proposes putting those funds into reserve as a hedge against potential federal budget cuts.
On the suggestion of City Council, OPA conducted the reassessment with the assistance of an outside real estate firm to advise on market value determinations and to assist in the appeals process. For this, OPA has retained the firm of A.R. Hughes, a nationally-known real estate counseling service.
Beginning in Fiscal Year 2018, the Office will conduct annual reassessments of all 579,000 properties in the city, including residential and commercial.
“Moving to annual citywide reassessments for Tax Year 2019 is an important milestone in the effort to improve the accuracy of property values,” said Michael Piper, Executive Director of OPA. “This will enhance the relationship between market values and assessments, and prevent the lag in up-to-date assessments.”
The annual citywide assessments that will begin in FY18 will be based on an analysis of the market using a time-trended accounting of sales over the past several years.