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Philadelphia Schools Go After Undervalued Properties

by Tom Branham, Washington D.C., September 2016

 

The Philadelphia School District is instituting a program to find undervalued properties and file appeals in hopes of getting added tax revenue.

 

Commerical Properties Targeted

 

The school district is seeking proposals from law firms, real estate appraisers, and other professionals to help identify properties that are assessed at least $1 million under their actual value. Then the district plans to appeal these assessments.

 

"This three-year pilot program will assess the degree to which certain properties might be undervalued across the city," CFO Uri Monson said in a statement.

 

Local property tax revenue makes up more than a quarter of the $2.8 billion budget for Philadelphia public schools. Every $1 million in assessable property value, is worth $7,500 to the district.

 

Working with the City's Revaluation

 

The City of Philadelphia is currently conducting assessments of commercial properties and officials say they welcome the school district's effort.

 

Monson explained that through the appeals process, the school district may be able to gather helpful information about property improvements and other issues that impact value that might not be available to city assessors.

 

Commercial property owners should be aware of the possible consequences of appeals filed by the school district and seek representation to minimize their tax liability.