The City of Philadelphia has released a training video to address LOOP relief (Longtime Owner Occupied Program) to offset tax increases from the property tax Actual Value Initiative (AVI).
Almost 50,000 property owners did just that. However, the burden was on them to persuade OPA the new values were wrong. Many simply didn’t, or even try to, according to city officials, so they got big “Nos” from OPA.
Northeast Times, 11/6/2013
On the eve of the deadline to apply for the Homestead Exemption and a month before the cutoff date for property tax appeals, the Crosstown Coalition of Taxpayers on Thursday released two comprehensive guides for concerned residents: “An AVI Appeal Guide” and “AVI Survival Guide.”
“The guides will help homeowners through the sometimes complicated process of filing an appeal to the Board of Revision of Taxes,” said Walt Spencer, one of two authors of the guides. The guides, also written by Rene Goodwin, provide information on real estate tax relief programs including homeowner and tenant rebate programs and senior citizen relief programs.
“We view the Coalition’s ongoing goal as working toward a real estate tax system that is fair and transparent,” said Steve Huntington, a coordinator at the Crosstown Coalition, which counts as members 21 civic associations across the City of Philadelphia. “Until we achieve that goal, we believe it is important to educate the general public about their right to appeal inaccurate assessments.”
The deadline to apply for the Homestead Exemption, by which owner-occupants can subtract $30,000 from the taxable assessed value of their homes, is Friday, Sept. 13, 2013. The deadline to file an appeal before the Board of Revision of Taxes (BRT) is Monday, Oct. 7, 2013.
The guides can be found here.
The City of Philadelphia will host two Telephone Town Hall meetings to discuss property taxes.City officials will answer caller questions about the Actual Value Initiative and property tax relief programs, including the Homestead Exemption.
The first telephone town hall is scheduled for Tuesday, September 3 and will begin at 7:15 pm and conclude at 8:15 pm. The second telephone town hall is scheduled for Tuesday, September 10 and will begin at 6:45 pm and conclude at 7:45pm.
Finance Director Rob Dubow, Chief Assessment Officer Richie McKeithen and Revenue Commissioner Clarena Tolson will answer questions during both Telephone Town Hall meetings.
Interested residents can pre-register for the town hall by logging on to www.phila.gov or by calling 215-686-9200. Individuals who pre-register will receive a call from the town hall when the session begins. Residents can also join the town hall without pre-registering by calling 1-877-229-8493 and using the ID code 111479 during the town hall session.
In the continuing efforts of the Crosstown Coalition to advocate for fairness and transparency in property values, the Coalition has identified land values as a primary area of inaccuracy within the 2014 property valuations.
“OPA has been unable to provide the Coalition with the methodology and formula (s) used to calculate land values…..We have attempted to discern the rationale for the AVI land value assessments but have been unable to do so. We are therefore writing to request that your office facilitate a meeting between our expert Walter Spencer, and Dr. Gillen so that we can understand the approach that he used and discuss our findings with the Coalition.”
Full text of the letter to Council President Darrell Clarke can be found here.
Officials at OPA gave Crosstown Coalition an update on the informal appeal process this week.
- OPA will not try to contact everyone property owner who filed an appeal before making a decision.
- The biggest group that won’t be contacted is people who complained that their taxes were going up too much, not their value is wrong.
Property owners will receiving letters from OPA informing them of their decision when the decision is made. The first set of letters are being mailed this week.
The October 7 deadline for property owners to file an appeal with the BRT is a statutory deadline. Neither OPA or the BRT can change it. OPA expects to complete most, but not necessarily all appeals, by that date.
‘One bill would provide relief to low-income, longtime homeowners in gentrifying neighborhoods, and the other would allow eligible property owners to defer any amount exceeding 2 1/2 times their current bill.’
Full article at Philly.com
Philly homeowners will finally know what their property-tax bills will be.
Full article at Philly.com
Crosstown Coalition of Taxpayers has spent hundreds of hours (and thousands of dollars) to conduct a full analysis of the available AVI data from the Office of Property Assessment. The analysis was recently posted on our Statements and Policy Positions page.
Editors Note: Walt Spencer is a property valuation expert and has led up the data committee within CCOT. Here is an excerpt from his bio:
[Walt] supervised a Countywide AVI program in New York State while serving as Chief Finance Officer. He subsequently spent fifteen years consulting to municipalities who contracted with outside firms to conduct their AVI programs. In his last six years in industry, Walt had national responsibility for sales and customer satisfaction for the nation’s oldest and largest consulting firm in this industry.
Walt has served at the industry expert for the coalition and was pivotal in producing the full analysis. On behalf of all of the CCoT members, I commend him for his service.