Axis Philly: Longtime Resident of Grad Hospital Expresses Concern Over Tax Increases
Many people are concerned that their property taxes will increase significantly due to the property value reassessments, which city officials expect to mail out today.
“My main concern is,” said Dorine Howard, who lives in the Graduate Hospital area in Southwest Center City, “whether or not it’s going to be fair.”
The projected tax rate for 2013 is 1.3 percent with no tax relief and 1.4 percent with the Homestead Act. If the state legislature passes House Bill 390, which would provide relief for long-term owners or occupants based on age and financial need, an increase in the projected tax rate will likely follow. The property tax rate for 2014 is expected May 31.
Property values change as a result of the market value, which is determined by the selling price of other properties in a specific area. Property owners who disagree with the reassessed value for tax year 2014 have until March 31 to file a first-level review form with the Office of Property Assessment. Formal appeals may also be filed with the Board of Revision of Taxes by Oct. 7. 2014 tax bills will be mailed in December.
Howard has had to appeal her property value before. She was successful in reducing the market value of her property for 2008 from $26,100 to $19,000, a difference of $7,100. For tax year 2009, Howard’s property value jumped $9,100 to $28,100.
“Years ago everybody knew everybody,” Howard said. “But now nobody knows anybody. People come and go, they move in and move out and there’s just a few of us that are left that’s been here.”
The Office of Property Assessment describes Howard’s home as a two-story, single-family row and twin. The adjacent home is a three-story, single-family row and twin. Both properties have a land area of 640 square feet. Howard’s assessed, taxable land is $3,372 and her neighbor’s is $2,048. Howard’s home has an improvement area of 896 square feet and an “above average” exterior. Her neighbor’s home has an improvement area of 1,000 square feet and a “rehabilitated” exterior. Howard’s assessed taxable improvement is $5,620 and her neighbor’s assessed improvement of $61,952 is tax exempt. Howard’s property has a market value of $28,100 and her property tax is $848.13. Her neighbor’s property has a market value of $200,000 and the property tax is $193.17.
“You do the math,” Howard said, “because I don’t get it.”