Philly property owners flood city phone lines about assessments

Philadelphia land owners took to the phone lines shortly after property assessments were released Friday and after receiving notices in the mail --some say their properties were over assessed.

From Monday through 3 p.m. today, the Office of Property Assessment (OPA) received 3,200 calls and voicemails, a substantially higher volume of calls than usual, said mayoral spokesman Mark McDonald. The increased number of calls came as thousands of property owners got notices from the city detailing what their properties are worth under the new property-tax system based on market values known as the Actual Value Initiative.

City Councilman Mark Squilla's office received 30 calls today, the most AVI-related calls to a Council office. Squilla's 1st district includes Center City, Northern Liberties, parts of South Philly and Fishtown, some of the hardest hit neighborhoods. Squilla plans to challenge the assessments and believes that OPA made some mistakes. 

If you feel your property has been assessed too high or low, you should file a first level review with OPA. If you're still not happy, you can file an appeal with the Board of Revision of Taxes (BRT).