Philadelphia homeowners facing steep property tax hikes can now find solace through a new initiative from the city. Following a citywide property reassessment, residential property values surged by an average of 31% for the 2023 tax year, leading to escalated tax bills, particularly impacting working-class neighborhoods where assessments doubled.
To mitigate this, homeowners can apply for a tax credit, potentially saving up to $500. Even those with smaller tax increases can receive a proportional credit, aiding them in paying 2023 or 2024 taxes or using it as credit for future payments. The city and City Council have set aside $1.7 million for these tax credits, supplementing existing relief programs like the Homestead Exemption, the Longtime Owner Occupants Program, and tax freezes for low-income seniors.
Eligibility criteria include residency in the property, ownership, a tax bill increase of 50% or more, and a household income at or below 80% of the area median, equating to $71,400 per year for a household of two.
Given the likelihood of a high volume of applications, credits will be allocated through a random lottery, managed by technology company FORWARD. The deadline for application submission is December 15 at 5 p.m.
City Council President Darrell L. Clarke emphasized the intent behind this tax credit, aiming to prevent Philadelphians from being priced out of their homes due to rising taxes. Mayor Jim Kenney highlighted the necessity of real estate taxes as a revenue source while acknowledging the strain they pose, emphasizing this program as a balanced approach to aid those in need while ensuring city investments for the future.