Philly City Council passes budget and property tax relief
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During its last legislative session before the summer recess, the Philadelphia City Council finalized a budget deal that offers homeowners additional property tax relief, while painstakingly cutting payroll and business taxes by the city. The compromise, rooted in a $5.8 billion operating budget, includes no tax hikes.
“This budget is an investment in people. said Maria Quiñones-Sánchez, who chairs the body’s credit committee.
Both the council and Mayor Jim Kenney’s administration have sought to ease the financial burden of rising property assessments. After a three-year pause, residential property values have risen an average of 31% this year. An independent analysis by the City Comptroller’s Office found that values have risen by more than 50% for almost a quarter of all single-family plots, of which there are around 450,000.
Ultimately, homeowners will see a dramatic increase in the value of the city’s property exemption. Under a proposal passed Thursday, residents can request that $80,000 be deducted from the value of their property, which could reduce their property tax bill by about $1,119 each year. For years, the exemption was set at $45,000, saving homeowners about $629 per year.
“We want to make sure a senior doesn’t have to choose between buying prescription drugs or paying property taxes. We want to make sure that a young family doesn’t have to choose between paying for child care or paying property taxes. We want to make sure even tenants don’t get evicted,” said council member Kenyatta Johnson, who had pushed to double the exemption to $90,000, the maximum allowed by state law.