By Mike Dunn and Walt Hunter
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) –– City officials are now clarifying the record regarding the back taxes owed by the owners of the Kensington warehouse that burned earlier this month, killing two firefighters (see related story).
Shortly after the fire, the Nutter administration released figures showing that the Lichtenstein brothers of Brooklyn owe more than $350,000 in back taxes on more than 30 properties they own throughout the city (see previous story).
The implication at the time was that they were huge tax deadbeats.
But now, Philadelphia revenue commissioner Keith Richardson says a further review of all those cases shows that for the majority, the brothers had already entered into payment plans to settle the debts.
“They are stepping forward and paying as agreed on their payment plans, and they have not defaulted on any of them at all,” Richardson acknowledged today.
Richardson adds that four of the brothers’ properties — including the warehouse that burned — are not under a payment plan, and the amount owed on those is about five thousand dollars total.