Sunday, April 26, 2015

Pew: Philly should be able to collect 30 percent of delinquent property taxes

Over the next few years, Philadelphia should be able to collect about $155 million of the $515.4 million owed to the city by delinquent property taxpayers, according to a new study by the Pew Charitable Trusts.

Pew: Philly should be able to collect 30 percent of delinquent property taxes

Thomas Knudsen (left) is going to be new "chief recovery officer" for the Philadelphia School District. Knudsen attended this SRC meeting when his new appointment was announced.  January 19, 2012  ( SARAH J. GLOVER / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER )
Thomas Knudsen (left) is going to be new "chief recovery officer" for the Philadelphia School District. Knudsen attended this SRC meeting when his new appointment was announced. January 19, 2012 ( SARAH J. GLOVER / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER )

Over the next few years, Philadelphia should be able to collect about $155 million of the $515.4 million owed to the city by delinquent property taxpayers, according to a new study by the Pew Charitable Trusts.

The study looked at 36 U.S. cities and found that Philly has the fifth-highest delinquency rate. Compared to cities with similar poverty rates, however, Philly has had similar rates over the last few years.

Cities with high collection rates, the study found, adhere to strict timetables about when and how to go after delinquents, whereas Philly has been inconsistent.

That 30 percent increase can happen, the study said, if "well-funded tax collectors use all of their statutory powers, including foreclosure, more aggressively than in years past."

Read the full study here.

The debate over property-tax delinquency took center stage earlier this year as the city moved toward adopting the Actual Value Initiative, the overhaul of the property-assessment system Mayor Nutter has been pushing for.

A recent PlanPhilly/Inquirer investigation highlighted the city’s poor performance on collections and revealed a ripple effect of problems for neighborhood’s with high delinquency.

Nutter in February announced a series of measures intended to crack down on tax deadbeats, including the creation a chief collections officer position.

The administration says it will collect $28 million more in delinquencies next year, although that number includes more taxes than just the real estate levy.

About this blog
William Bender, a Drexel graduate who landed at the Daily News in 2007, has covered everything from South Philly mobsters to doomsday hucksters. He occasionally writes about local food trucks and always eats everything on his plate, whether it be a bloody rib eye or a corrupt politician. E-mail tips to benderw@phillynews.com
 Follow William on Twitter

David Gambacorta, has been a reporter with the Daily News since 2005, covering crime, police corruption and all of the other bizarre things that happen in Philadelphia. Now he’s covering the 2015 mayor’s race, because he enjoys a good circus just as much as the next guy. He’s always looking to get a cup of coffee. Send news tips and other musings on life to gambacd@phillynews.com
 Follow David on Twitter

PhillyClout Team
Also on Philly.com
Stay Connected