Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Philly Among Cities with High Tax Burdens

Philadelphia has the second-highest tax rate in the country, as well as the second-highest rate of income taxes on low-income families, according to a report by 24/7 Wall St. (Elise Wrabetz / Staff Photographer)
Philadelphia has the second-highest tax rate in the country, as well as the second-highest rate of income taxes on low-income families, according to a report by 24/7 Wall St. (Elise Wrabetz / Staff Photographer)

When residents are looking for a new home, property taxes are among the critical items to review prior to making offer.

This is especially important in Philadelphia, which has the second-highest tax rate in the country, as well as the second-highest rate of income taxes on low-income families, according to a report by 24/7 Wall St.

The report ranked the top 10 cities with the highest combined financial burden for taxes when looking at 2012 data for the largest city in each state, the overall taxes for families earning $25,000 and $150,000, as well as the unemployment rate.

The report found that Philadelphia’s unemployment rate was 8.6 percent and a family of three earning $25,000 in 2012 paid $788 in income taxes that year.

“After a new property tax valuation system was implemented and some residents’ tax assessments more than tripled, the city introduced a ‘gentrification relief program’ at the end of 2013. Fuel was also heavily taxed in 2012, with gasoline costing an additional 31 cents per gallon due to state taxes, which were among the highest in the United States,” the report stated.

24/7 Wall St. also found that seven of the cities with the highest tax burdens also had among the 10-highest property tax rates.

Bridgeport, Conn., topped out the list with the highest overall taxes in the country. The affluent area of the country has high property taxes and a high unemployment rate of 7.8 percent.

Milwaukee is another city with a high property tax rate, 3 percent, landing it at No. 3 on the list. Baltimore, No. 4, follows in its footsteps with a high property tax rate.

Columbus, Ohio, in the No. 5 spot, has a relatively low tax burden for lower-income families, but one of the highest for high-income families.

A high unemployment rate in 2012 (10.3 percent) may be a contributing factor to the high tax burden in the No. 6 city, Providence, R.I.

Portland, Maine, No. 7, is another New England city with segmented tax burdens that are reasonable for low-income families and high for high-income households.

Louisville, Ky., is a mixed-bag depending on your tax bracket, but still manages to land at No. 8 on the list of highest tax burdens.

Detroit, No. 9, features high property taxes – though they would likely be higher if homes in the city held higher value – and a flat income tax rate in both the state and city.

Lastly, Wilmington, Del., Has a high tax burden, partially due to high property taxes and high home values.

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