PlanPhilly

The Tax Delinquency Conundrum

    • north 9th 4

Council Committee approves sales of property tax liens

City Council’s Committee on Finance recommended a bill Friday afternoon that would authorize the city to sell property tax liens to private collectors. The practice, which is common in some other…

    • Sanchez and Green

City Council adopts delinquent tax collection overhaul

Philadelphia's City Council approved a top-to-bottom overhaul of the city's troubled property tax collection system Thursday, the latest in a series of state and local reforms designed to curb Philadelphia's worst-in-the-nation…

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Council talks tax delinquency with city officials and collection agencies

Senior members of the Nutter administration’s property tax collection team defended their record before a skeptical City Council committee Tuesday afternoon during the first in a series of hearings that are…

    • Taxpayer Fairness Initiative

Council freshmen call for hearings on tax delinquency

Each of the six newest members of City Council introduced resolutions Thursday morning calling for Council’s Committee of the Whole to hold hearings on various aspects of the city’s tax delinquency…

    • 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…

    • 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…

    • Mapping tax delinquent properties in Philadelphia

Mapping tax delinquent properties in Philadelphia

Taxes in Philadelphia After decades of weak collection efforts, property tax delinquency has become epidemic in Philadelphia. There are about 111,000 tax delinquent accounts in the city, or nearly one out…

    • How Philadelphia is failing to proceed on taxes owed

How Philadelphia is failing to proceed on taxes owed

Sometime in the next three months, state lawmakers will begin formally considering a bill that would make Philadelphia finally deal with its 100,000-plus backlog of tax-delinquent properties. It will not be…

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

Special report: How tax delinquent properties thwart development

For most of its recent history, the 1700 block of Manton Street in Point Breeze was notable only as a 420-foot-long case study in Philadelphia’s ills. Violence? Check. Abandonment? Check. Crack…

    • Flawed delinquency records abound

Flawed delinquency records abound

According to city records, a West Philadelphia company, Neighborhood Restorations, is one of the biggest property-tax deadbeats in town, owing $247,000 on nearly 300 tax-delinquent parcels. But the city records are…

    • A tax delinquent and unsafe eyesore at the exclusive intersection of 18th and Delancey. (Clem Murray/Inquirer)

Many delinquent properties have real market value

How much are delinquent properties in Philadelphia actually worth? Some, like the Foxwoods casino site, are worth plenty. But there are many others — vacant lots and abandoned shells in some…

    • Broken assessment system complicates sales of delinquent property

Broken assessment system complicates sales of delinquent property

Annual property-tax bills in Philadelphia are determined by a relatively simple calculation: the tax rate (9.08 percent in 2012, 8.26 percent in 2011) times the assessed value of the property equals…

    • Special report: The delinquency crisis

Special report: The delinquency crisis

Philadelphia runs the least-effective delinquent-property-tax collection system of the nation's biggest cities, a system that has created a “culture of nonpayment” and cost the city and cash-strapped School District $472 million…

About This Series
    • Houses along 21st and Carpenter Streets. | Photo: Neal Santos
      Houses along 21st and Carpenter Streets. | Photo: Neal Santos
    • north 9th 4
      north 9th 4
    • Sanchez and Green
      Sanchez and Green
    • Mark Squilla
      Mark Squilla
    • richardson original
      richardson original
    • php4pn3n4
    • Denny O'Brien
      Denny O'Brien
    • David Oh, Cindy Bass, Mark Squilla
      David Oh, Cindy Bass, Mark Squilla
    • richardson original 1
      richardson original 1
    • Taxpayer Fairness Initiative
      Taxpayer Fairness Initiative
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This report is the result of a collaborative effort between the Philadelphia Inquirer and PlanPhilly. The project was made possible by a competitive award funded by the William Penn Foundation and awarded by J-Lab, a division of the School of Communication at American University. All records of tax delinquencies and sheriff sales were obtained from the City of Philadelphia through right to know requests. The aggregate property tax figures cited in this report reflect outstanding debts to the city as of April 30, 2011.

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