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House of Representatives
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: January 14, 2013 03:52 PM
From: Representative Cherelle L. Parker and Rep. Michelle F. Brownlee, Rep. Michael P. McGeehan, Rep. Michael H. O'Brien
To: All House members
Subject: Property Tax Relief Package

Document #1

Introduced as HB388


Representative Parker will be introducing a bill to provide the City of Philadelphia with additional authority to collect delinquent property taxes.

Philadelphia needs additional tools to effectively collect delinquent property taxes from speculators who own vacant, blighted tax delinquent properties and from investors who purchase and rent properties and fail to pay their property taxes. An analysis of delinquent property taxes shows that many non-residents own ten, twenty or more properties that are tax delinquent, vacant or abandoned. Non-resident investors own rental properties that not only have code violations but are delinquent in paying their property taxes.

Simply putting a lien on the specific property that is delinquent has not been sufficient to cause payments to be made. The City needs the lien to be placed against all of the property owners’ real estate located within the Commonwealth. Then, when the property owner attempts to sell any of his/her property located within the Commonwealth, the lien must be satisfied.


Document #2

Introduced as HB389


Representative Brownlee will be introducing a Constitutional amendment authorizing two classes of properties in the City of Philadelphia.

Many local jurisdictions, including those in the neighboring states of New York and Ohio, have the authority to set tax rates on different classes of properties.

Analysis of the impact of the Actual Value Initiative indicates that there will be a substantial shift in property tax burden from commercial properties to residential properties. Absent the ability to create separate rates for residential properties and commercial properties, the City of Philadelphia has no recourse to mitigate this shift of tax burden.


Document #3

Introduced as HB391

Description: Representative McGeehan will be introducing a bill to provide the City of Philadelphia the ability to provide eligible Philadelphia homeowners with the option to make property tax payments in periodic installments.

In the City of Philadelphia, 40 percent of city homeowners do not have mortgages. These owners receive tax bills for the full amount of their property tax bill once a year. The option of periodic payments would lessen the burden on these individuals.

Analysis also shows that offering installment payment options decreases the occurrence of tax delinquency.

Document #4

Introduced as HB390


Representative O'Brien will be introducing a bill to provide relief for long term owner-occupants in Philadelphia

Over the past ten to fifteen years in Philadelphia, many adjacent or nearby center city residential neighborhoods that were deteriorated and filled with vacant or abandoned homes and properties have become desirable places to live as a consequence of the refurbishing or renovation of residents or the construction of new residences. Initial studies of the impact the Actual Value Initiative will have on these long established residential areas show that they could see dramatic increases in property values. Further, studies have shown that the average length of ownership on these blocks, where ownership is ten or more years, is slightly above 30 years.

Although the City of Philadelphia is authorized to provide gentrification relief under the First and Second Class County Property Tax Relief Act, the City is not authorized to use age or financial need, which is permitted in counties of the Second Class, to grant such relief. We seek to amend the First and Second County Property Tax Relief Act to afford Philadelphia the same authority to use age and financial need when considering relief for long term owner-occupants.