Marvin Lewis was one of the lucky ones, or, so he thought. The Fairfield Street resident in November was informed that the assessment on his home would be knocked down almost $14,000.
Multiply that figure by the city’s 1.34 percent real estate tax rate and you see that Lewis expected his 2014 tax bill to be more than 180 bucks lower than it might have been had he not asked the Office of Property Assessment to decrease his home’s market value.
Lewis is among more than 6,000 owners whose property values were revised by the OPA, which refused to do the same for more than 39,000 others.
But then Lewis got his 2014 tax bill on Dec. 19. The bill was based on the value OPA put on his home last spring, not the new figure he heard about in November. When it seemed his good fortune was short-lived, Lewis started making inquiries. In a Dec. 20 phone interview, he said a city employee told him that corrected bills would be sent out in a mass mailing at the end of this month.
Mike Piper, the OPA’s deputy chief assessor, told the Northeast Times that what Lewis described is not uncommon.
“A taxpayer was successful in getting the OPA to agree to a revised assessment,” Piper wrote in a Dec. 20 email, “but the revised assessment was not recertified in time for the tax billing information to be accurately reflected on the actual bill.”
More than a few inaccurate bills will be sent out, Piper said.
The Revenue Department has been advised that revised bills might have to be sent out for about 3,000 properties, Mayor Michael Nutter’s spokesman Mark McDonald stated in a Dec. 27 email to the Northeast Times.
“Assessments and revisions will continue for a period of time, and the Department of Revenue will continue to send out revised bills,” he wrote.
Bills were mailed in December based on assessments that were reported by November, McDonald continued. “Those who have an adjustment from the Office of Property Assessment or are under appeal with the Board of Revision of Taxes will receive a revised bill in January,” he stated.
“If adjustments are made after January, then revised bills will be sent out at a later date,” McDonald said.
Those who overpay their property taxes will receive refunds, he said. Real estate bills are due March 31. Those who pay by Feb. 28 will receive 1 percent discounts, McDonald said. ••