By Mike Dunn
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Some longtime city residents were thrown for a loop when their new property assessments more than tripled under the city’s new property tax valuation system known as AVI.READ MORE: Religious Leaders Putting Faith Into Action To Stop Gun Violence In Philadelphia
But now, those hardest-hit residents are being offered a new relief program, appropriately dubbed “LOOP.”
“I do not create these acronyms, but I think this one is quite interesting,” said Mayor Nutter (at lectern in photo), referring to the Longtime Owner Occupants Program.
It is the second major relief program to result from the new property assessments that were mailed out earlier this year, for tax bills that are due early next year.
The first program, a $30,000 “Homestead” exemption, could be used by most homeowners. But the LOOP program is aimed at owners who have been in one home for ten or more years and whose assessments more than tripled under AVI.
Those who qualify will have their tax bills calculated on a tripled assessment, abating anything beyond that.
“Homeowners who are approved for LOOP will receive this real estate discount for ten years,” the mayor explained.READ MORE: Philadelphia Police Officer, Civilian Involved In Crash In Kingsessing, Police Say
This program is means-tested, so higher income families will not be eligible.
Driving the program are certain neighborhoods where gentrification drove property values beyond the means of older, longtime residents.
Council President Darrell Clarke (far left in photo) is pleased with how LOOP works.
“The rollout of this program will go a long way toward allaying some of the fears that residents continue to have,” Clarke said.
The deadline to apply for LOOP is January 15th, although Clarke this coming Thursday will hold a hearing on his bill to extend that deadline by one month. Mayor Nutter would not say if he supports that extension.
More information is available at phila.gov/loop.MORE NEWS: Philadelphia's Furry Friends Celebrate Howl-O-Ween