Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Philly property owners flood city phone lines about assessments

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.

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).

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Chris Brennan, a native Philadelphian and graduate of Temple University, joined the Daily News in 1999. He has written about SEPTA, the Philadelphia School District, the legalization of casino gambling, state government, the mayor, the governor, City Council and political campaigns. E-mail tips to brennac@phillynews.com
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@phillynews.com
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Sean Collins Walsh is from Bucks County and went to Northwestern University. He joined the Daily News copy desk in 2012 and now covers the Nutter administration. Before that, he interned at papers including The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News and The Seattle Times. E-mail tips to walshSE@phillynews.com
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