Philadelphia’s Office of Property Assessment (OPA) hits Chinatown properties with 2nd wave of increases since AVI (Actual Value Initiative). One property has a 340% increase in assessment values from 2017. Others were assessed an 150% increase. Assessments at this scale with this speed have left some property owners confused and reeling. With the upswing in property values, property and U&O taxes have skyrocketed, which adds financial strain on low-income families and small business owners.
Chinatown is home to 5000 residents with a median household income of $32,000. With the ensuing increases made by the OPA, the Chinatown community will be highly vulnerable to market forces and increased development.
If you received a property assessment that you think is incorrect, you can appeal it in three ways:
- Complete the First Level Review (FLR) form that is enclosed in your evaluation letter. You can also request a replacement form by calling 215-686-9200. The FLR is due May 26, 2017. Note: If you are appealing the evaluation of a commercial or multi-family building, you must include income and expense forms for the past two years (2014 and 2015). These forms can be found online here: http://www.phila.gov/OPA/Assessments/Pages/Appeals.aspx
- Call your district council member. Chinatown is in District 1, under Councilman Mark Squilla who can be reached at 215-686-3458 and 215-686-3459. If you do not live in Chinatown, you can find your district online here: https://www.seventy.org/tools/political-maps-of-philadelphia/congressional-districts and your district council member here: http://phlcouncil.com/council-members/
- File a Formal Appeal with the Board of Revision of Taxes. Formal Appeals are due in person or by mail at 601 Walnut Street, Suite 325 East, Philadelphia, PA 19106 by October 2, 2017. The Appeal form and instructions can be found here: http://www.phila.gov/brt/appeals/Pages/default.aspx