Press Releases

Press Releases: Controller’s Office Highlights Lack of Improvement in Assessment Accuracy with Release of New Data Tool

Areas of North, West and Southwest Philadelphia pay more than their fair share of property taxes with Tax Year 2023 assessments, just like with 2019 assessments.

For immediate release: Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Contact: Jolene Nieves Byzon, 215-300-1071

Philadelphia, PA – The Controller’s Office released an interactive data tool comparing the accuracy of Tax Year 2023 property assessments to Tax Year 2019 property assessments by the City’s 17 geographical zones, neighborhood level regions that the Office of Property Assessment uses to construct its assessments. The tool shows that the Office of Property Assessment made little progress in improving property assessments on a geographical basis since Tax Year 2019’s reassessment – areas of North, West and Southwest continue to have the least accurate assessments. Of note, those areas also have the some of the largest percent increases in the latest reassessment. 

“In 2019, my office reviewed property assessments for accuracy by geographic zone, finding that the city’s poorest neighborhoods had the least accurate assessments. That resulted in those neighborhoods being over-assessed when compared to sales data and paying more than their fair share. At the time, we called on the Office of Property Assessment to address this issue in future assessments,” said City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart. “Instead, our data release shows that the Kenney Administration did not prioritize assessment accuracy by geographic zone, ensuring our most vulnerable residents will continue to pay more than their fair share under the Tax Year 2023 assessments. Not reaching industry standards on a geographic basis continues the cycle of inequity in our city, giving better service to wealthier neighborhoods while poorer neighborhoods struggle. Every Philadelphian deserves a fair system of taxation based on an accurate property assessment system, no matter what part of the city they live in.”

The Controller’s Office new tool uses results from sales ratio studies, an industry-standard evaluation that measures the accuracy of a property’s assessment as compared to sales prices for similar homes in the same area, from the Office of Property Assessment.   

The tool allows users to search by address and denotes which zones are within the International Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO) acceptable standards for accuracy, as well as the median percent assessment increase for Tax Year 2023 reassessment for each zone.  

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