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Study: Philadelphia Tax Delinquency Exceeds Median Of Other Cities

(credit: John Ostapkovich)

(credit: John Ostapkovich)

Michelle Durham Michelle Durham
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By Michelle Durham

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – In the wake of Philadelphia’s new property tax code, Actual Value Initiative (or AVI) becoming  law, the Pew Charitable Trusts released a study analyzing Philadelphia’s property tax delinquency. It also includes how much the city should be able to collect over time, as well as comparing Philadelphia’s delinquency rates and collection practices to 36 other cities.

Project manager of the Philadelphia research initiative Thomas Ginsberg gives an estimated breakdown on the percentage of collectible taxes.

“About 30 percent of the $515 million could be considered collectible. That comes to about $155 million over several years.”

But Ginsberg says actual collection rates will vary depending on other factors including stepped up enforcement.

Compared to other cities how does Philadelphia’s collection rate stack up?

“Philadelphia has been markedly above the median percentage of real estate taxes going unpaid in the same year that they were due. That is 9 percent in Philadelphia last year compared to a median of 4.1 percent.”

The study shows this failure to collect property taxes weighs most heavily on the School District of Philadelphia, because they receive 32 percent of their funding from them. Mayor Nutter’s Spokesperson Mark McDonald says the study is a useful spotlight on an issue they remain focused on.

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