By Tony Romeo
HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) – A package of bills designed to reduce the sticker shock associated with the overhaul of Philadelphia’s property tax structure has cleared a state House committee.
Three bills cleared the House Urban Affairs Committee. One, sponsored by Philadelphia Democrat Mike O’Brien, would allow City Council to consider age and financial need in granting relief to long-time residents of a home who experience a jump in their property taxes.
“I have 90-year-old constituents who bought their house after the Second World War, have lived there all their lives – they just got a property tax increase of $10,000.”
Another measure, sponsored by Philadelphia Democrat Cherelle Parker, would make it easier for Philadelphia and other counties to place liens on co-owned properties outside the county when a property in the city or county is delinquent on taxes.
Parker says many residents understand that their taxes will go up as part of the property tax update, “‘However, what is the city doing to collect the hundreds of millions of dollars in delinquent property taxes that it is owed?’”
Another bill would allow for property taxes to be paid by installments in Philadelphia.
But a spokesman for the majority leader of the Republican-controlled House says it’s not known when or if the bills will come up for a full House vote.