Roughly nine months after the submission deadline, thousands of Philadelphia property owners are still waiting for the city to respond to their property assessment appeals.
As of the third week in August, the Office of Property Assessment had reached a decision on more than 60% of the 19,747 “First Level Reviews” that were filed for Tax Year 2023, according to the city.
And it’s unclear when the office will finish ruling on the remaining requests, which could entitle property owners to a property tax refund if the city lowers their property value.
“OPA is committed to resolving the FLRs as efficiently and accurately as possible, making sure each request gets properly reviewed and the process is not rushed. The complexity and amount of time needed to review and resolve an FLR can vary based on the information submitted by the taxpayer,” a city spokesperson said in a statement.
According to the city, “First Level Reviews” require a homeowner to prove that either:
The estimated market value of their home is too high or too low.
The estimated market value is accurate, but inequitable.
The characteristics of their property that affect its value are substantially incorrect.
Property owners who filed an FLR, but did not get a response before the March 31 deadline for paying property taxes, had to pay their bill based on the newest property assessment. Released in August 2022, the latest round of values caused widespread sticker shock. Residential property values increased by an average of 31% after a three-year pause in the process, a gap partially caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.