Client Alert: Update on Current Real Estate Tax Assessment Issues for Philadelphia Property Owners


Recent Change to Philadelphia Common Level Ratio 

By July 1st of each year in Pennsylvania, the State Tax Equalization Board (“STEB”) is charged with establishing a common level ratio (the “CLR”) of assessed property values to actual market values in the prior calendar year for each county. In order to determine the CLR, STEB conducts a statistical analysis, including sales ratio studies, based on data submitted by each county on property sales records and the assessment data for each of those sales.

STEB has just reported the most recent CLR for Philadelphia county as being 18.1%. This varies greatly with the assessment ratio currently being used by the City of 32%. Klehr Harrison’s Real Estate Tax practice group is prepared and available to discuss with you how this change in CLR may impact your chances for success in appealing your Philadelphia property assessment. Appeals in Philadelphia County for the 2012 tax year must be filed by Monday, October 3, 2011.      

City Request for Property Information

The Philadelphia Office of Property Assessment (the “OPA”) has recently sent a mass mailing to all commercial and industrial property owners requesting that certain data (i.e., rent rolls and operating expense information) be submitted to the OPA by August 31, 2011. According to the OPA, this data will be used in establishing property values for the 2013 tax year when the Mayor’s moratorium on assessment increases expires. 

While this moratorium is in place, the OPA is directed not to change property assessments except in certain cases involving new construction, improvements, or consolidations or subdivisions. 

If you receive this voluntary request for property data from the OPA, we encourage you to contact our Real Estate Tax practice group to discuss prior to submitting any information.

For more information regarding property tax assessment, appeal, abatement and non-profit exemption matters, please contact: Carl S. Primavera (215.569.1663 or or Nicole R. Faux (215.569.4539 or They collectively have over 30 years experience representing significant commercial, industrial and residential owners and developers in these matters.