City Council is terrified of what the new property values are going to look like in gentrifying areas like Northern Liberties and Fishtown, and if the early leakings are to be believed, many landowners in growing neighborhoods are going to be in for some sticker-shock.
It is worth pointing out though that while Council is certainly to blame for letting the values be so wrong for so long, some of the tax increase is self-inflicted. Tax rates could be lower if folks didn’t lose their minds every time somebody wants to build new housing in the neighborhood. The more properties there are on the tax rolls, the lower the rate can be.
People might wish there were some more buildings to tax when the new values come in the mail, like these 7 apartment buildings proposed for a 15,000 sqft vacant lot in Fishtown:
According to a story from Broad Street Media, the community response to the project was very split. At an FNA meeting two weeks ago, the neighborhood “supported” the project with a vote of 18-17, but the vast majority of near neighbors to the project came out in opposition. Reasons for opposition varied. Several neighbors opposed the height of the properties on Blair, which would admittedly dwarf the three two-story homes on the block, but would be comparable to two new homes that just got built on Hewson Street. Others opposed the contemporary look of the project, which people said was too boxy. Others still said the project would ruin the neighborhood’s character.