Two bills – one that would extend the deadline by six weeks to apply for the homestead exemption, and one that would allow people to apply for the exemption if they buy houses in the last quarter of the year – passed City Council unanimously Thursday.
An estimated 340,000 homeowners are eligible for the exemption, which deducts a set amount from a property's assessment before the tax rate is applied.
Mayor Nutter has backed a $15,000 exemption, while current law allows Council to set the exemption at $30,000. The exemption will be finalized as Council works on passing a budget by June 30.
Council and the administration want as many homeowners to take advantage of the tax break as possible. In some areas of the city, the exemption could mean the difference between a higher and a lower tax bill, as the city moves to a new property tax system this year.