PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Once in a while apparently you can fight City Hall. That happened this past week, as Council heard complaints about a huge increase in an annual license fee, and so the lawmakers are likely to cut that hike in half.

The city last month mailed out some 1,700 bills to owners of vacant lots and talk about sticker shock: the property owners discovered that what had been a $50r annual license fee had gone up to $750 dollars. The reason for the jump was to discourage land owners, who were simply sitting on properties, not developing them.

But Councilman Darrell Clarke says it is unfair to those who own lots near their homes.
“The most recent bills the individuals got were $750. The bills they got last year were $50. And understandably there was significant concern about that. So we’re going to reduce those down to $300.”

Clarke says the fee hike was particularly unfair to those who bought lots for community gardens. So the measure that drops the fee back to $300 also includes outright exempts for lots used as gardens.

Reported By Mike Dunn, KYW Newsradio.