of the assessed property value.
Who pays the tax
Anyone who owns a taxable property in Philadelphia is responsible for paying Real Estate Tax. Typically, the owner of a property must pay the real estate taxes. However, anyone who has an interest in a property, such as someone living in the property, should make sure the real estate taxes are being paid.
Payments are due and payable on March 31st. You can receive a 1% discount for paying your bill on or before the last day of February. The Department of Revenue usually mails Real Estate Tax returns to property owners in December, several months ahead of the March due date.
Tax rates, penalties, & fees
How much is it?
The City of Philadelphia and the School District of Philadelphia both impose a tax on all real estate in the City. For the 2017 tax year, the rates are:
0.6317% (City) + 0.7681% (School District) = 1.3998% (Total)
The amount of Real Estate Tax you owe is determined by the value of your property, as assessed by the Office of Property Assessment (OPA). If you disagree with your property assessment, you can file an appeal with the Board of Revision of Taxes (BRT). Appeals must be filed by the first Monday in October of the year prior to the tax year you are appealing. (For example, to dispute an increase to your property assessment that is set to take effect in the 2019 tax year, you would need to file an appeal by the first Monday in October 2018.)
What happens if you don't pay on time?
If you fail to pay your Real Estate Taxes by March 31, increased charges –which include interest– will be added to the principal amount of the tax. Collectively called “additions,” these charges accrue at the rate of 1.5% per month, beginning April 1 until January 1 of the following year.
If the taxes remain unpaid on January 1 of the following year:
- A 15% maximum addition is added to the principal balance;
- The taxes are registered delinquent; and
- Liens are filed in the amount of the total delinquency, including additions.
- The City can begin the process of selling your home at a sheriff sale.
Discounts & exemptions
Are you eligible for a discount?
You can receive a 1% discount for paying your bill on or before the last day of February. The standard due date is March 31.
The City of Philadelphia also offers a number of income-based assistance programs for owner-occupied households and senior citizens. These programs include:
- Real Estate Tax installment plan. Qualified homeowners may pay current year property taxes in up to twelve monthly installments through December 31st.
- Longtime Owner Occupants Program (LOOP). Income-based program for homeowners who experience a substantial increase in their property assessment.
- Owner-occupied Real Estate Tax payment agreement (OOPA). Income-based program for homeowners with past-due Real Estate Taxes who might qualify for a monthly payment agreement.
- Real Estate Tax deferral program. Income-based program for homeowners with Real Estate Tax increases of 15% or higher.
- Tax credits for Active Duty Reserve and National Guard Members who serve outside of Pennsylvania.
- Low-income senior citizen Real Estate Tax freeze. Income-based senior citizen program that “freezes” real estate taxes so that they don’t increase in the future.
Pennsylvania also offers an income-based program for senior citizens Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program. Visit the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania website for full eligibility and application details. You can also call the Commonwealth’s Philadelphia District Office at (215) 560-2056. You do not need a receipt for real estate taxes paid to the City to apply for the Commonwealth’s Property Tax Rebate.
Can you be excused from paying the tax?
The City offers a number of abatement and exemption programs for Real Estate Taxes. These programs include:
- Homestead exemption for all Philadelphia homeowners who complete an application. This program reduces the taxable portion of your property assessment by $40,000 in effect for 2019 Real Estate Tax bills.
- Property tax abatements for both residential and commercial projects. Abatements encourage new construction or the rehabilitation of properties by making them more affordable.
- Non-profit tax exemptions for qualifying non-profit organizations.
- Catastrophic loss adjustment for people whose property has been damaged by a fire or other natural disaster. To qualify as a catastrophic, the damage must result in a decrease of 50% or more in property value.
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania also offers the Disabled Veterans Real Estate Tax Exemption, which permits a veteran’s home to be exempt from real estate tax if the veteran has a service-connected disability.
How to pay
Pay online through the City’s Real Estate Tax portal by entering your physical address or Office of Property Assessment (OPA) number. You will be able to check your tax balance and make a payment through the address lookup tool.
Pay by mail
Pay by mail with a check or money order. Be sure to attach a payment coupon to your bill and write the tax type and account number on your check. Payment coupons can be printed from the Department of Revenue’s eFile/ePay site.
Mail payments with coupon to:
P.O. Box 8409
Philadelphia, PA 19101-8409
Pay by phone
Pay by phone by calling (877) 309-3710. If you experience any problems with the telephone system, call customer service at (800) 487-4567.
Pay in person
Pay in person with a check or money order at one of our three authorized payment centers. Visit the Department of Revenue website to check payment center locations and hours.