Christopher Sawyer has a characteristically colorful take on the politics of reassessment in Philly that’s worth your time.
While the various AVI tax relief proposals are in play on City Council though, I really would like to see all the people writing about this issue take a position on which idea is the least bad. And I would specifically like to persuade PDQ to come over to Team Land Value Tax:
The tax rate of course won’t be set at 1%, it will be much higher than that, but for all the talk of gentrification protection plans, tax credits for poor and new tax credits for seniors on top of state grants funded by the PA lottery, one can only imagine that Philadelphia’s poorer homeowners are in search of some sort of relief from the AVI reset to their properties.
There’s a class war brewing in Philadelphia, and it’s going to be over the millage rate. For every little crutch and tax break and gentrification protection that is handed out, the tax rate will have to be set higher to pull the same amount of revenue.
In effect, this is asking everyone who won’t qualify for any breaks (like myself) to pay other people’s property taxes for them on top of the 19% of taxable property owners who already don’t pay their taxes. Sounds fair? Nothing’s fair.
That’s true, but some of the ideas are more fair than others, and less damaging to the real estate market in the short run. Reducing the tax burden on buildings and improvements and increasing the millage rate on land would raise more money from vacant lots and surface parking lots, and less from people in residential, mixed use and multi-family buildings: