Philadelphia, PA (March 9, 2023)—Philadelphia City Councilmembers Kenyatta Johnson (2nd District) and Brian O’Neill (1st District) introduced legislation that would restore the one percent discount for early payment of real estate taxes.
“The City of Philadelphia had to make some difficult choices during the height of the COVID19 pandemic, when we discontinued the one percent discount to address revenue shortfalls and make sure we could continue to provide important city services to our residents,” Johnson said. “However, the early payment discount pays dividends to both the City and its residents and I’m proud to introduce legislation to reinstitute the discount. By incentivizing early payment, the discount bolsters the City’s cashflows – and it rewards taxpayers for good behavior. The City is now back on better financial footing than it was a few years ago and we should bring back the one percent discount for early payment of real estate taxes.”
“We want to encourage people to pay their taxes and reward people for paying early,” O’Neill said. “Reinstating this discount will be a win-win for both homeowners and the City.”
If the bill introduced by Councilmembers Johnson and O’Neill is approved by Council and signed into law by the Mayor, the one percent discount would be available again in Tax Year 2024 for people paying their real estate taxes in full by February 29, 2024.
Prior to the discount’s elimination in Tax Year 2021, a Philadelphian who paid their real estate taxes in full by the last day of February received a one percent discount. Philadelphia real estate taxes are due March 31.
In 2020, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney’s administration proposed ending the one percent discount for early payment. The discount was eliminated due to revenue shortfalls stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic and was part of the Administration’s plan to close a $750 million deficit in the Fiscal Year 2021 operating budget.
The one percent discount elimination was approved as part of the overall budget and five-year plan approved by City Council in June 2020. It was estimated that the discount’s elimination increased City revenues by $6 million in FY2021.
The Johnson/O’Neill one percent discount bill will be assigned to a City Council committee for a future hearing. The goal is for the bill to have a final vote in City Council by June.
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Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson, a former Pennsylvania State Representative represents the 2nd Council District, which includes parts of Center City, South Philadelphia, and Southwest Philadelphia. He is Chairman of City’s Council’s Special Committee on Gun Violence Prevention.