City To Get $30 Million in New Real Estate Tax Revenue

It was announced in the city controller's monthly economic report. The mayor's office had already budgeted for the new money, though.

Real estate taxes in Society Hill should rise under revised land assessments announced today by City Controller Alan Butkovitz. Photo: Sikeri | Flickr

Real estate taxes in Society Hill, as well as 35 of the city’s 50 ZIP codes, will likely rise under revised land value assessments announced today by City Controller Alan Butkovitz. Photo: Sikeri | Flickr

The City of Philadelphia is coming into some cash next year. City Controller Alan Butkovitz released his monthly economic report today, in which he reveals that the City’s new property assessments could bring in around $30 million in new real estate tax revenues.

The increase in value is due to the increased assessment of the land portion of 36,778 properties. Real estate taxes will rise on average in 35 of Philadelphia’s 50 ZIP codes. (To name a couple: Center City—$1,013 increase. Northern Liberties—$489.) Taxes will fall on average in 14 and one will see no change. The sum of all these tax adjustments will come out to a net increase in real estate tax revenue of approximately $14 million for the city’s general fund and $17 million for the School District of Philadelphia.

With so much money coming in, it’s reasonable to ask if the mayor’s office expected it, and if not, whether it may cause a reduction of the proposed tax on soda, which has caused waves here in Philly and even on the national level, with both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton weighing in on opposite sides of the issue.

According to Mike Dunn, one of Mayor Jim Kenney’s spokesmen, it was accounted for in the budget plan for 2017 and his five-year plan as well. It also was part of the School District’s budget, but the revenue won’t lead to a cut in the soda tax should it be enacted, for as Lauren Hitt, the city’s communications director, explained, the educational programs being paid for by that tax—community schools and pre-kindergarten—are not run out of the School District.

From the mayor’s five-year plan:

The OPA reassessed all land values in the city, which is projected to grow residential taxable market values by approximately 3 percent and should result in a more accurate split between the assessment attributable to the land and the improvement (the structure).

These reassessments raise the City’s total taxable property to $91.7 billion, $2.2 billion more than the previous year.

[Updated May 2, 8:21 p.m., to correct information about where soda tax revenues will go.]