Northeast Times

Property reassessments almost complete

Al­most done.

More than 51,000 tax­pay­ers last year asked the city to re­view the prop­erty re­as­sess­ments they got last spring, and as of last Fri­day, de­cisions had been made on more than 48,000 of those re­quests.

More than 37,000 own­ers’ re­quests were denied, ac­cord­ing to Mike Piper, deputy chief as­sess­ment of­ficer for the Of­fice of Prop­erty As­sess­ment. About 1,400 of those were sent in after last year’s dead­line, he said. 

About 10,000 own­ers did get the news they wanted, most of which was lowered as­sess­ments. Most of the suc­cess­ful ap­peals stemmed from own­ers as­sert­ing their as­sess­ments didn’t ac­cur­ately re­flect mar­ket val­ues or wer­en’t uni­form. 

About 3,500 re­views haven’t been com­pleted, Piper said Feb. 21. One of the reas­ons some aren’t done yet is just the large num­ber of re­view re­quests. An­oth­er is that those not com­pleted yet might re­quire fur­ther in­spec­tions, he ad­ded.

The lifespan of an as­sess­ment is a year, but it’s not likely res­id­en­tial prop­erty own­ers will be re­as­sessed this year. Piper said new con­struc­tion will be as­sessed for the 2015 tax year as will some prop­er­ties that have been mod­i­fied.

Some of the 10,000 own­ers who were told their as­sess­ments would be re­vised down got 2014 tax bills based on the val­ues as­signed be­fore the OPA made its de­cisions. The city’s Rev­en­ue De­part­ment mailed out the bills be­fore hear­ing from OPA. Those people should get cor­rec­ted bills, city of­fi­cials have said, as well as a little lee­way on tak­ing ad­vant­age of the 1-per­cent dis­count tax­pay­ers get if they send in their checks by Feb. 28. Those whose bills have to be re­vised will get the dis­count if they pay up by March 31, the dead­line to file without pen­alty.

That’s all on­go­ing. Tax bills star­ted go­ing out in Decem­ber. Or­din­ar­ily, prop­erty own­ers who don’t like their as­sess­ments take their beefs to the Board of Re­vi­sion of Taxes. The first-level re­views were something new in 2013, a year that there was the first city­wide re­as­sess­ment in dec­ades. Still, the BRT got 25,000 ap­peals, some from those dis­sat­is­fied with OPA de­cisions and some from those who went dir­ectly to the BRT.

The dead­line for BRT ap­peals was early Oc­to­ber. By earli­er this month, the agency had dis­posed of 1,000. Not all were de­cided, ac­cord­ing to Carla Pa­gan, the BRT’s ex­ec­ut­ive dir­ect­or. Some were with­drawn, she said. ••

You can reach at jloftus@bsmphilly.com.

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