Newly Proposed Amendments to The Philadelphia Code Would Increase Information Regarding Income-Based Payment Agreements and Tax Relief Programs.
Written by: Alan Nochumson
On May 11, 2023, Councilmembers Bass, Driscoll, Squilla, Vaughn, O’Neil, Harrity, Phillips, and Thomas introduced legislation aimed at informing taxpayers in Philadelphia about governmental programs aimed at assisting them with the payment of real estate taxes. Such governmental programs include the Longtime Owner Occupants Program (LOOP), which can limit a property’s potential assessment increase; the Real Estate Tax Deferral Program, which allows for a deferred payment of the prior year’s real estate taxes; and the Low-Income Senior Citizen Real Estate Tax Freeze, which allows eligible taxpayers to cap their real estate tax bills.
You can read about these governmental programs on our website here, but Bill No. 230418 would require the city government in Philadelphia to advertise the availability of these governmental programs and more, at least twice per month in at least 3 community-based publications.
Bill No. 230419 would require the City of Philadelphia’s Department of Revenue and the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Property Assessment to mail notice of these same governmental programs to its taxpayers. Such notices would include telephone numbers and addresses where taxpayers can receive free advice from housing counseling agencies and legal services agencies. Additionally, when a taxpayer contacts the Department of Revenue or the Office of Property Assessment regarding their real estate tax liabilities, those governmental agencies would be required to inform the taxpayer of steps for applying for the City’s tax repayment assistance programs and the availability of free advice and assistance from housing counseling agencies and legal service agencies.
The proposed legislation has been referred to the Philadelphia City’s Council’s Committee on Finance but must be heard before the entire legislative body and passed by a majority of the members on City Council. If so passed, the bill will be sent to Mayor Kenney to either sign it into law or veto it.