Philly tax delinquents cost city, neighbors
By The Associated Press
Published: Sunday, March 10, 2013, 9:45 p.m.
Updated: Sunday, March 10, 2013
PHILADELPHIA — Tax-delinquent properties in the city of Philadelphia have crippled the tax base, eroded the equity of thousands of homeowners and starved city government and school district of badly needed funds, a Philadelphia newspaper said.
A yearlong Inquirer/PlanPhilly investigation of the tax enforcement system found that delinquency depresses the overall property tax base by at least $9.5 billion, almost 10 percent of Philadelphia's $98.5 billion in taxable real estate, the newspaper said.
The delinquent properties lower the worth of neighboring homes by an average of 22.8 percent, and few neighborhoods are untouched.
Eliminating such delinquencies could increase the tax base by almost $300 million a year, the paper said.
While some of the properties are owned by low-income homeowners unable to pay their bills, at least 59 percent of all delinquent real estate in Philadelphia is owned by landlords, speculators and investors who don't live on-site, the paper said.
Other large U.S. cities, on average, collect 95 percent of what they are owed in property taxes in the same year they are due, and the average collection rate climbs to 99 percent in later years with enforcement measures that can include auctioning properties, the paper said.
Philadelphia' collection rate has come in well below those rates, averaging 85.6 percent annually since Mayor Michael Nutter took office, 10 points below the average rate of the 20 largest cities over the same period.
- Government defends recording Armstrong County man’s jail conversation
- Mt. Lebanon School District to charge for sports, extracurriculars
- Prosecutor brings compassion, passion to role as deputy AG
- Newsmaker: Dr. Donald Hoffman
- No known illnesses from Legionella bacteria found in Washington County VA clinic, official says
- Facial recognition technology moving toward identifying almost anyone
- Trib entries capture 13 Golden Quills
- Mt. Washington’s Grandview Avenue isn’t looking so great these days
- Cooper says years in court give perspective for Common Pleas judge seat
- Satler says trial experience makes her case for judicial post
- As judge, Tranquilli wants to intervene early
You must be signed in to add comments
To comment, click the Sign in or sign up at the very top of this page.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.