A Pew Charitable Trusts Philadelphia Research Initiative report released today affirmed much of what is known about the impact of the city's new property-tax system, the Actual Value Initiative including that the tax burden will shift from commercial to residential properties.
The report notes that a number of proposals by Mayor Nutter and City Council could change that, like the homestead exemption which would knock off $30,000 from a homeowner's assessment. Council is also looking at other aid, including relief for longtime homeowners.
Small businesses will also likely see large increases to their tax bills under AVI, the report notes. Nutter has proposed setting aside $10 million in aid for small commercial properties and Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez has proposed changes to the use-and-occupancy tax on businesses that would exempt the first $2,000 from that tax for all commercial and industrial properties.
Additionally the report showed that large commercial and tax abated properties will see tax breaks under AVI. Councilman Wilson Goode Jr. has proposed scaling back the 10 year tax abatement.
According to the report Philadelphia homeowners pay on average lower property taxes compared to other cities like Baltimore, Washington, Pittsburgh and Boston, but the city relies heavily on wage and business taxes.