Wilson Goode Jr. Gets Radical About Property Taxes

GoodeLG1A tax abatement — an exemption from paying taxes on a property for a given number of years — seems like a pretty terrific perk. Who wouldn’t want an abatement? But the notion gets complex in neighborhoods “in transition” — places where property taxes are going up for longtime residents and new construction for new residents comes with an abatement in place.

The abatements also complicate the school funding picture, as they reduce the amount of money that goes to the District.

Last week, Wilson Goode Jr., who wants to scale back the tax abatements, characterized them as “a
a tax break for the few, the new, and the well-to-do,” and asked his colleagues to vote on his bill. It was tabled.

This week, Goode got even more aggressive: He withdrew the original bill and put forth a more radical one. From CBS Philly:

His new measure would end the abatement on the portion of property taxes that goes to the school district -– roughly half — leaving only the city portion abated.

Goode says the city should be helping students, not developers.

“The opponents of this bill suggest that we should go find funding for schools elsewhere,” he said today. “I suggest that we go find funding for development projects elsewhere, other than school tax revenue. Every project does not need the current tax abatement, but every school absolutely needs more money.”

Phila. Councilman Revamps His Ten-Year Tax Abatement Overhaul Proposal

  • DTurner

    Meh, as much as I hate the idea of undoing the tax abatement, a steadier funding stream for schools might not be a terrible idea.

    Also, could we get at least one councilmember who actually believes that we need to attract talent instead of increasing taxes for those who already live here?

  • Frank

    The best way to fund the schools would be to collect $465 million delinquent real estate taxes. About $300 million of those delinquents are from investors who don’t live in the city. The tax abatement isn’t the problem, the way the city collects taxes is the problem.