Real estate tax collection has declined in Philadelphia for the second year in a row, starving the school district of at least $12 million.
As of March 31, the end of the third quarter, the city had collected $1.09 billion in property taxes. That's a decline of $21 million from 2013 year-to-date collection of $1.11 billion, City Controller Alan Butkovitz said Monday.
The controller said that he didn't know why there would be a further drop in tax collection again this year.
Last year, Butkovitz said, there was a drop in property tax revenue in part because of the Actual Value Initiative going into effect. That initiative revalued everyone's property value and a new tax rate was used, resulting in a high volume of appeals.
"The administration swore the appeals would be done by now," Butkovitz said Monday.
City spokesman Mark McDonald said that although 90 percent of appeals have been processed, the most expensive properties are still waiting for their appeals to be decided.
The Board Revision of Taxes has only heard about 60 percent the dollar value of appeals, McDonald said.
"That's because they focused on getting residential appeals finished first and are still hearing the appeals for commercial properties, which have larger amounts under appeal," McDonald said.
Third quarter tax revenue this year was $981 million. During the same period in 2014, it was $991 million and in 2013, it was just over $1 billion.
Of those totals, 55 percent goes to the school district and 45 percent to the city's general fund.
Butkovitz called the tax collection decrease an "anomaly."
"All other taxes came at a higher level," Butkovitz said. He was referring to wage taxes and net profit taxes, in particular. For more details on the numbers, check out the controller's report HERE.
Click here for Philly.com's politics page.