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Philadelphia Property Tax Increase Proposed

by Tom Branham, Washington D.C., April 2018


Budget hearings are underway in Philadelphia to determine how much property taxes will increase next year. Mayor Jim Kenney originally proposed a 6 percent property tax rate hike but reduced it to an increase of 4.1 percent. The reason: property values rose dramatically with last year’s reassessment of commercial and multi-family properties so the lower tax rate would still bring in amount of revenue needed.


The Mayor says the property tax rate increase is needed to help erase a nearly $1 billion deficit in public school funding over the next five years. The city is taking control of the School District of Philadelphia from the state-run School Reform Commission in July. The Commission is being dissolved after running the public schools for more than 16 years.


The current property tax rate is $1.3998 per $100 of assessed value. If the 4.1 percent increase is approved, the rate would rise to $1.4572 per $100 of assessed value. This proposed increase will generate $966 million for schools over the next five years. Philadelphia also plans to contribute $20 million annually from its general fund to add $100 million for public education.


Taxpayers may also face an increase in the real estate transfer tax. If approved by the City Council , an increase of 8.5 percent in the transfer tax would provide schools with $66 million.