Owning property in Philadelphia usually means paying Philadelphia property taxes. The amount you must pay is directly tied to the amount of money the City decides your property is worth.
Unfortunately, the City does not have a good way of individually assessing every single property, so it decides how much each property is worth based on the neighborhood, general characteristics, and other market forces. It often does not take into account the individual characteristics of the property.
The assessed value of your house is the basis upon which you are taxed by the City. A higher property assessment generally means you will pay more in taxes.
You can see how much the City thinks your property is worth (and how much money you may owe in taxes) on the Office of Property Assessment (OPA)’s website: https://property.phila.gov/
If your property meets any of the following criteria, you may consider appealing your property assessment:
Your property assessment is too high.
The assessed value of your property is different from the values of other similar properties in your neighborhood.
The City’s records are inaccurate regarding the characteristics of your property (for example, if the City’s records state that your house is 3,000 square feet when it is only 2,000 square feet).
The taxes that you pay on your property are directly linked to the assessed value of your property. This includes local, county, and school taxes. When the assessed value of your property is correct, you pay the proper amount of taxes. If the assessment is too high, then you are likely paying too much in taxes. As a taxpayer and a property owner, you have the right to challenge the assessed value of your property. Every county has a different procedure for filing and fighting these appeals, so it is best to have the help of an experience real estate law firm.
The real estate attorneys at Kenny, Burns & McGill have successfully filed, fought, and won many Philadelphia property assessment and tax appeals in their years of practice. Having an experienced attorney file these appeals on your behalf will ensure that they are filed correctly, on time, and complete with all the information necessary to successfully challenge your Philadelphia real estate taxes.
The first step our law firm will take is to file a First Level Review form with the Office of Property Assessment. Depending on the circumstances, we are permitted to demand and attend a hearing to argue that the City’s real estate assessment is too high, and was performed without properly reviewing the individual characteristics of the property. Following the First Level Review, the OPA will decide whether its assessment was fair.
That determination can be further appealed to the Board of Revision of Taxes (BRT), at which time our firm can demand a second hearing, as appropriate, and we can make additional arguments regarding the state of the property and other circumstances that would warrant a reduction in property taxes and/or property value.
The deadline to file the First Level Review for 2023 Property Assessments is Monday, October 3, 2022. Our law firm is prepared to get started on your appeal right away. Due to the enormous increases in taxes across Philadelphia, it is expected that up to 20% of property owners will appeal their property tax assessments, so it is important to file as early as possible to avoid any potential slowdowns as the October 3, 2022 deadline approaches.
It is easy to contact our law firm, and we offer free consultations to anyone interested in appealing their 2023 Property Tax Assessment. Text or call (215) 423-5500 or visit our contact page for additional information.
While the City’s own reassessments are the driving force behind higher taxes, the City does offer some programs to help residents (especially low-income residents) to manage their tax burden. Many of these programs do not require the help of an attorney: