PHILADELPHIA – April 12, 2018 – Councilman Allan Domb (At Large) today introduced a plan to collect delinquent property taxes by securitizing tax liens.
The legislation mirrors a bill Councilman Domb introduced in November 2017, with the exception that it makes explicitly clear that all owner-occupied properties be excluded from the securitized method of lien collection.
“As I have said from the beginning, it is neither the goal nor the intent of this legislation to remove anyone from their homes,”
Councilman Domb said. Rather it is part of his ongoing commitment to collecting delinquent taxes owed to Philadelphia and its School District.
The goal, Domb said, is to collect money from those who choose not to pay taxes. The Councilman stated there are 67,000 delinquent properties in Philadelphia, 16,000 of which are owner occupied and therefore excluded. The other 51,000 are commercial, industrial or investment properties.
While 95 percent of citizens in Philadelphia pay their property taxes, some commercial, rental and industrial investor owners continue to shirk their responsibilities. “That will no longer be tolerated,” Councilman Domb said, citing the example of an out- of-town investor who owns 65 properties and owes over $600,000 in delinquent taxes against property worth nearly $8 million.
“Right now, we are seeing an average of 11 percent increase in the property assessment in Philadelphia,” Domb said. “And in the middle of a budget debate, we are talking about raising property taxes again; raising the realty transfer tax again, freezing the planned decrease to the City wage tax all while the city government budget continues to rise.”
“This bill must be strongly considered as we continue our budget debate,” said Councilman Domb, the primary sponsor of the legislation. Co-sponsors are Councilman Bobby Henon (6th District), Councilman Mark Squilla (1st District), Councilman Curtis Jones, Jr. (4th District), Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell (3rd District), Councilman Al Taubenberger (At Large), Councilman Brian O’Neill (10th District), and Councilman David Oh (At Large).
Councilman Domb says this legislation will put Philadelphia on track toward a better culture of compliance, while also helping owner occupants enroll in various programs already established to help them such as the Owner-Occupied Payment Agreement (OOPA) or Longtime Owner Occupants Program (LOOP).
“We owe it to the 95 percent of Philadelphians who pay their taxes, and more importantly to our schoolchildren, to go after delinquent taxpayers who have cheated us for far too long,” Councilman Domb said.
Watch Councilman Domb’s remarks in Council after introduction of the ordinance:
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