September 9, 2011
THE NEW OFFICE of Property Assessment is taking the steps necessary to ensure that the people carrying out the city's first full reassessment in decades are expertly qualified. While, as the Daily News reported, the state exempts Philadelphia assessors from needing evaluator certifications, under the leadership of Chief Assessor Richie McKeithen, OPA is ensuring that all assessors meet state standards. The city strongly supports legislation to require all assessors to obtain a certified Pennsylvania evaluator (CPE)
March 3, 2011 |
Promising to fix the city's system for valuing properties by next year, Mayor Nutter said Thursday that he would add $4.4 million to the city budget to hire 80 assessors and buy new technology. "The assessment notices that go out in the fall of 2012 will be based on the actual value of properties," Nutter said in his annual budget address to City Council. "We're going to fix this system. Citizens have waited long enough. It's time to finish the job. " The fall 2012 date is the first time Nutter has made such a specific promise about when the city would complete its overhaul.
October 28, 2011 |
FOR NOW, Philadelphia's property-tax assessors get special treatment. But they might not for long. Unlike property-tax assessors in every other county in Pennsylvania, Philly assessors aren't required to be state-certified to determine the values of people's homes. State Sen. Larry Farnese, D-Phila., introduced a bill yesterday requiring city assessors to obtain a state certificate. It would make assessing a property without a state certificate a third-degree misdemeanor, punishable by a $2,500 fine and/or up to a year in jail.
August 31, 2011 |
Assessors have begun fanning out across Philadelphia neighborhoods this month as part of the effort to affix an "actual value" on the city's 577,000 properties - and to correct a property-tax system rife with inequities. City officials hope to have an assessor physically inspect each of the city's parcels by the spring of 2012. Home and business owners should be notified of their new assessed values by the fall of 2012. "We are going to value the property based on what it would sell for," Richie McKeithen, the city's chief assessment officer, said Tuesday.
February 8, 1991 |
Thanks to the well-publicized problems of the savings and loan industry and the efforts of a pussycat named Tobias, all real estate assessors - as of July 1 of this year - will have to meet specific standards for that work established by a new Pennsylvania regulatory board, and demonstrate competency by passing an exam. Up to now, real estate appraising has been a field that was generally unregulated. Pennsylvania has been tougher than most states in, at least, requiring appraisers to either be real estate brokers or employed by a bank.
February 16, 2013 |
On Friday, when Philadelphia begins mailing out the results of the citywide reassessment, much of the speculation surrounding Mayor Nutter's property-tax reform will give way to hard analysis of actual numbers. Nutter is planning a morning news conference to discuss the Actual Value Initiative (AVI), after which most new assessments are to be posted to the Office of Property Assessment's website. All of the data should be available by early next week. Owners should be able to use the website to learn what the city estimates their homes and other properties are worth, and begin to see how their 2014 tax bills will change.
December 6, 2011 |
RUST HAS SEEPED through the weathered, salmon-colored paint on the bars covering my basement window. My chocolate-brown, wafer-thin storm door clatters every time I open it, and the railing on my deteriorating stoop is pocked with holes. But I'm not going to fix those blemishes on the facade of my South Philly rowhouse. Not yet anyway, in part because I want to be a tax-dodger. Now that dozens of property assessors are traversing the city to determine the "actual value" of every property, I plan to delay any visible improvements.
December 6, 2011 |
LARRY SHUBERT is only a few minutes on the job when he starts getting an earful from an 80-year-old homeowner. Shubert, a property-tax assessor for the city, is jotting down notes outside Theresa Conroy's home in Roxborough when she pokes her head out the door. He introduces himself, and she promptly warns him not to raise her property taxes. Or else. "I'm gonna get pretty damn mad!" she says. Shubert is trying to figure out how much Conroy's home is worth. Maybe you've seen him, or one of the city's 65 other assessors, around town.
August 22, 1997 |
The property tax homeowners pay year in and year out is big business: $209 billion in real estate taxes were collected last year alone, according to the Census Bureau. At the same time, though, the levy, more correctly known as the ad valorum tax - ad valorum means according to value - has been called the worst-administered of all the tariffs we pay. Politics is still very much a part of the system. In most places tax collectors are appointed as part of the political spoils system or elected by the taxpayers.