More than 220,000 Philadelphia homeowners will get real estate tax breaks next year because they have been approved for the $30,000 Homestead Exemption.
A property owner who has the exemption will see his 2014 city property taxes reduced by about $400.
More than 300,000 owners who live in their own homes were thought to be eligible, but not all applied for the exemption by the Sept. 13 deadline despite efforts by council members and city officials to get them signed up.
Council members like Brian O’Neill, Bobby Henon and Maria Quinones Sanchez and their staffs took out ads, knocked on doors, sent out mailings and called homeowners. The city sent out representatives to talk up the exemption with neighborhood groups.
Still, as the mid-September deadline approached, there were people who had blank looks on their faces when told they had a tax break coming, said O’Neill (R-10th dist.). Those who learned about the exemption too late, he said last month, can still apply for it next year.
The exemption works simply enough: Subtract $30,000 from a property’s assessed value before multiplying the assessment by the tax rate, which is roughly 1.32 percent. The exemption doesn’t affect a home’s market value. It’s used only for taxation computations.
As of Sept. 27, 224,448 homeowners were approved for the exemption, said Mayor Michael Nutter’s spokesman, Mark McDonald.
The city denied 24,000 applications, he said, and there were 82,147 duplicate applications. Seventy-two people withdrew their applications, he added.
McDonald said the Office of Property Assessment believes the final number of exemption approvals could surpass 230,000. Also, although the deadline to apply for the exemption was Sept. 13, people who buy a home after Sept. 14 can still apply for the exemption for their 2014 taxes.
“This wrinkle ends Dec. 1,” McDonald stated in an Oct. 9 email to the Northeast Times. “After that, anyone who buys will have to wait until tax year 2015 to have a homestead exemption applied to their assessment.” ••