June 1, 1987 |
Although it got little notice when it sailed through the City Council last week, a new ordinance expected to raise $4 million to $5 million in tax revenue should get plenty of attention in the months ahead. "Once people realize that they're starting to pay the tax, they will be very surprised and disappointed," said Harris Ominsky, real estate partner at the law firm of Blank, Rome, Comisky & McCauley, who testified before a committee on the measure. The ordinance, passed the same day the Council approved the city's fiscal 1988 budget of $1.85 billion among considerably more hoopla, represents further tinkering with the real estate transfer tax. The transfer tax, which now has been revised three years in a row by city and state government, already is among the highest in the country, according to Ominsky.
July 28, 1986 |
Jenkintown officials say that the borough missed out on collecting thousands of dollars in tax revenue when commercial properties changed hands through the use of industrial development authorities. In such transactions, buyers and sellers do not pay real estate transfer taxes, which normally are paid to the locality and the state when ownership changes. The local tax represents 1 percent of the property's selling price. In addition, the Jenkintown officials are concerned because a recent change in state law could mean that they will continue to lose out. "The legislation permits a property to change hands time and time again without anybody paying any transfer tax," said borough manager William Richardson.
July 1, 1988 |
A Common Pleas Court judge yesterday invalidated the city's planned 62 percent increase in the real estate transfer tax, but city officials quickly countered with an appeal that allowed them to begin collecting the new tax pending a state court ruling. The flurry of last-minute legal skirmishes began when Judge Murray C. Goldman struck down, on procedural grounds, the controversial tax increase, which is designed to raise $33 million in new revenue next year. Upholding a legal challenge by consumer activist Max Weiner, Goldman ruled that City Council violated the City Charter by concealing the actual amount of the tax increase until after a public hearing.
June 21, 1988 |
The city's Records Department will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on June 30 to accommodate the expected rush of last-minute filers trying to beat the increase in the real estate transfer tax on July 1, officials said yesterday. The city's portion of the tax on real estate sales will go from 2.5 percent to 4.07 percent. The state assesses an additional 1 percent tax. People who go to the Records Department by the end of the day June 30 or who mail their documents with a postmark of June 30 or earlier will have their transactions processed at the 2.5 percent rate.
May 25, 1988 |
City Council's approval of what one broker called "the highest real estate transfer tax in the world" will kill many commercial deals and send homebuyers to the suburbs, experts said. City Council today approved a budget package that included an increase in the city transfer tax from 2.5 percent to 4 percent. Coupled with the 1 percent state transfer tax, the total tax on the sale of real estate in Philadelphia is now 5 percent. That amounts to $4,200 on an $84,000 home - the median price of a house in Philadelphia.
April 26, 1987 |
An ordinance designed to close possible loopholes in the realty transfer tax was passed at a special meeting of the Sharon Hill Borough Council last week. The ordinance passed by a 5-0 vote. Council Solicitor Richard C. Tinucci said after Wednesday night's meeting that the ordinance specifically addressed the status of condominiums. It establishes that condominiums are liable for the transfer tax when sold, "whereas under the old ordinance, there may have been some question," he said.
April 28, 1990 |
The city's Realtors are upset that the Goode administration wants to delay a plan to reduce the city's real estate transfer tax, the highest in the nation. Retaining the current rate - 4.07 percent - "sends the wrong message to the citizens of this city," Alan Domb, president of the Philadelphia Board of Realtors, said yesterday at a sparsely attended City Council budget hearing. Last year, Council passed budget legislation that called for gradually lowering the rate to 3 percent over five years, starting with a reduction to 3.92 percent for the fiscal year that begins July 1. But the administration has introduced a bill that "basically delays the step-down in the tax by one year," said Michael Masch, director of economic analysis for City Council.
April 23, 1987 |
Tredyffrin Township has collected $189,000 more than it anticipated so far this year in real estate transfer taxes, the Board of Supervisors was told this week. Next month, the supervisors are scheduled to hold a hearing to consider doubling the tax and closing some loopholes that, according to township officials, allow some corporations and builders to avoid paying the tax. The current 1/2 percent transfer tax is based on the sale price of real estate. At the supervisors meeting Monday night, township resident Noel Jackson suggested that the surplus funds be transferred to the capital reserve fund, which was depleted by about $135,000 this year for vehicle purchases.
May 26, 1988 |
A 60 percent increase in Philadelphia's realty transfer tax - adding 1.5 percent to the cost of any real estate purchase - apparently will make transfer taxes in the city, at 5 percent, the highest in the nation. The city transfer-tax increase from 2.5 percent to 4 percent, part of $100.7 million in tax increases approved early yesterday by City Council, will mean that on the sale of a $100,000 house, $5,000 in transfer taxes will be paid - $4,000 to the city and $1,000, or 1 percent, to the state.
November 1, 1989 |
For all you taxpayers who bought or sold property between July 1, 1988, and June 30, 1989, and are already calculating how much your real estate transfer tax refund will be, the city of Philadelphia has a message: Don't bank on it. Despite two court rulings that City Council illegally raised the realty transfer tax by 63 percent last year - and despite the state Supreme Court's refusal to reconsider those rulings - the city won't budge....