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You are viewing 48 articles by the author Patrick Kerkstra

    • 1800 block of N. Marston where GLC Group owns 15 properties and was photographed February 22, 2013. (David Swanson / Inquirer Staff Photographer)

City blight unit lauded, decimated

Since 2011, an innovative new anti-blight unit in the city’s Department of Licenses and Inspections has used data and strategic enforcement to prop up property values and speed redevelopment in transitional…

    • Seymour and Keyser streets

Signs of progress in delinquency fight

Nine months after shaking up the city’s tax enforcement leadership and collection processes, the Nutter administration continues to make modest but measurable gains in the collection of taxes, chipping away at…

    • 3831 Cambridge, property traced to Antoine Gardiner and photographed February 22, 2013. (David Swanson / Inquirer Staff Photographer)

Special report: Signs of progress amid delinquency crisis

Philadelphia's massive property tax delinquency tab continued to grow over the past year, rising from $515 million in April 2012 to $522 million this April, city records show. For the first…

    • Schools Superintendent William Hite and Mayor Michael Nutter at a June press conference about the budget shortfall. (Nathaniel Hamilton/For NewsWorks, file)

Squeezing school $$ from tax delinquents: $28 million is in the balance

This article was made possible through a partnership between The Notebook and PlanPhilly As bad as the school district’s projections for this fiscal year already are, the actual bottom line could…

    • 1800 block of N. Marston

Sizing up a flurry of blight and delinquency legislation

Between the fatal building collapse on Market Street and heightened focus on the blight-spreading delinquency epidemic, lawmakers in City Hall and the state capital are - at least for now…

    • The Royal's masonry is in fragile condition due to mortar loss and extensive biogrowth.

Universal seeks OK to demolish most of Royal Theater

Universal Companies - the nonprofit titan founded by Kenny Gamble - has asked the Philadelphia Historical Commission for permission to demolish most of the famed Royal Theater on the 1500 block…

    • Brian Abernathy

Redeveloping the Redevelopment Authority

It has been a long, turbulent run for the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority. Five executive directors in eight years. Dramatically slowed sales of publicly owned property. And embarrassing worldwide coverage (literally…

    • councilwoman maria q sanchez stands in front of 2432 n 4th street a blighted tax delinquent property in her district march 1 2013 david swanson inquirer staff photographer 752 502 s

As Philly land bank momentum slows, proponents want administration to take lead

Political progress on Philadelphia’s proposed land bank - which many advocates see as central to solving the vacancy and property tax delinquency crises - has ground to a near halt in…

    • Signe Wilkinson delinquency cartoon in Philadelphia Inquirer

City leaders send stark message to Nutter: Collect taxes

Two days before Mayor Nutter is scheduled to deliver his budget address, a host of city leaders called on his administration to improve its performance in the collection of delinquent property…

    • 3831 Cambridge, property traced to Antoine Gardiner and photographed February 22, 2013. (David Swanson / Inquirer Staff Photographer)

Ravaged by Neglect, Part Two: A broken property tax system where everyone loses, except investors

Philadelphia's decades-long neglect of property tax collections has been a disaster for public schools, the city budget, and typical taxpaying homeowners. But the system does have its advantages for low-rent landlords,…

    • rbn 01

Part One: Lax property tax enforcement and brazen deadbeat investors have depressed Philadelphia’s property-tax base by $9.5 billion

The neighbors did what they could to dress up the gaping wound on their block. They painted the steps black and the porch a bold bluish-green. In the fall, they put…

    • Developer Waterfront Renaissance Associates has plans for a 1,458-unit, four-tower residential and retail complex

Fiscal reform in Philadelphia faces a taxing problem

Powered by Tableau Jobs behind the push to cut taxes The competitive advantages of lower wage and business taxes are well documented. A half century ago, when Philadelphia’s economy was still…

    • City's tax delinquency epidemic deepens

City's tax delinquency epidemic deepens

Philadelphia property tax delinquents piled up an additional $43.8 million in new debt over the last year, increasing the total amount owed to the city and financially desperate School District to…

    • City owned properties, mapped and ready to sell.

City's "Front Door" cracks open

At last, the city’s enormous inventory of mostly vacant surplus land is being made available online for would-be buyers.The Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority’s “Front Door” - essentially a database and map…

    • Sheriff sales failing to round up promised bonanza of property tax deadbeats

Sheriff sales failing to round up promised bonanza of property tax deadbeats

Two years ago, the City of Philadelphia offered its legions of tax deadbeats a once-in-a-generation chance at amnesty: a 54-day window to settle their accounts without paying a dime in penalties…

    • Abandoned tax delinquent property on the 2300 block of Gerrit Street in Point Breeze (Clem Murray / Inquirer)

Should city bank on land bills that finally lay down the law?

For decades, Philadelphia’s city government has struggled to cope with an abundance of vacant land and chronic tax delinquency, two closely related problems that have fueled blight and depressed property values…

    • Philadelphia's imminent vacant land plan: major progress, or major letdown?

Philadelphia's imminent vacant land plan: major progress, or major letdown?

The City of Philadelphia has all but finished an overhaul of its land disposition policy, a long awaited move designed to put more of the city’s nearly 13,000 vacant properties -…

    • Stanton supporters say school is worth saving

Stanton supporters say school is worth saving

The School District of Philadelphia weighed a lot of factors before settling on the nine schools it proposes closing to eliminate some of the 70,000 empty seats in the city’s public…

    • Few turn out to protest loss of far-flung school

Few turn out to protest loss of far-flung school

At the far southwestern edge of Philadelphia, just north of the airport and two blocks away from the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge, lies George W. Pepper Middle School.By Philadelphia…

    • Schools bursting at the seams in the Northeast

Schools bursting at the seams in the Northeast

For most Philadelphia neighborhoods, plummeting public school enrollment is a fact of life. In Northeast Philadelphia, however, there is a different problem altogether: too many students, and too few seats.Overcrowding…

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