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Philly creates tax LOOP

There's a new real-estate tax loophole for Philadelphians — and you don't need to be a millionaire to take advantage of it.

To limit the huge increases some residents are seeing under the Actual Value Initiative tax-reform effort, the city is launching the Longtime Owner Occupants Program, or LOOP.

"I do not create these acronyms, but I think this one is quite interesting," said Mayor Nutter, while announcing the program yesterday with Council members.

The announcement comes days after Harrisburg authorized the city to use means-testing for a "gentrification relief" program.

The program will benefit lower-income homeowners who have been in their homes for at least 10 years and saw their property assessments increase by 300 percent or more this year. For 10 years after they enroll, LOOP participants will be taxed on no more than triple their old assessments.

Residents must apply by Jan. 15. Council President Darrell Clarke is working to have that deadline extended, given how long

Applicants must meet a series of requirements, including being up to date on taxes and being below a certain income level. Residents can go to to see if they're eligible.

Up to 80,000 properties may be eligible. The city budgeted $20 million to pay for the tax breaks in this year's budget.