Broad Street Brief: Property Reassessments Cause Residential Values to Skyrocket and Commercial Values to Increase Less Dramatically 

May 5, 2022

CITY HALL

Property Reassessments Cause Residential Values to Skyrocket and Commercial Values to Increase Less Dramatically

On Tuesday, the Kenney administration announced the value of the average residential property increased 31 percent. Non-residential real estate increased 9 percent. It is clear that the administration and City Council have some disagreements over how to offset this drastic tax increase on residents and how to spend the additional revenue.

New Affordable Housing Push Includes Free Land and Building Incentives

As part of the Neighborhood Preservation Initiative (NPI), the city will give away empty plots of land in an effort to create 1,000 new affordable houses to be sold to first-time buyers for less than $250,000. Councilmembers present at the initiative’s kickoff say they expect construction on the first houses to begin later this year, with houses being built for several years.

Councilmember Green Introduces Second Part of “Civics Legislative Agenda”

Last week, Councilmember Derek Green introduced the second half of his “Civics Legislative Agenda,” a package of bills that seeks to encourage greater civic engagement, participation among Philadelphians and promote good government. A continuation of a set of bills introduced earlier this year, this latest package proposes:

  • A charter change proposal that would, if approved by voters, create a Redistricting Commission after each federal census to solicit public input regarding the composition of council districts, propose new district boundaries to City Council, and produce a report regarding its decision-making process and methods.
  • A bill revising and extending retaliatory protections for individuals – or “whistleblowers” – who file complaints with or seek advice from the Board of Ethics.
  • A bill recommending technical changes and cleaning up of language related to the code’s section for “Political Contributions and Expenditures.”
Parking Authority Retracts $10 Million Debt Claim Against School District

The Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA) announced that it would cancel a request that the School District repay them over $10 million, which the PPA claimed was because of accounting errors on their part. The request for repayment has become a political flashpoint since it was made in late 2021.

Philadelphia Police Ask for $24 Million Increase in Budget

Last Tuesday, the Philadelphia Police Department requested that City Council allocate an additional $24 million to the department. Most of this funding would go towards payroll increases.

City Is Revising Streetery Rules That Faced Opposition from Restaurant Industry

New regulations regarding streeteries could be established as soon as May 12. These new regulations are significantly less onerous than the previous iteration that faced stiff opposition from the restaurant industry.

Suburban Spotlight: Rail Service Between Reading and Philadelphia Could Be Restored

Commissioners in Berks, Chester, and Montgomery Counties voted to authorize the creation of the Schuylkill River Passenger Rail Authority, which would restore passenger rail service between the localities.

Upcoming Hearings

Philadelphia City Council holds several hearings throughout the legislative calendar. You can watch the hearings here.

  • On Thursday, May 5, at 2:00 p.m., the Committee on Public Safety will review issues with abandoned vehicles and illegal dumping.
  • On Friday, May 6, at 10:00 a.m., the Special Committee on Child Separation in Philadelphia will hold a hearing to “better understand the role of community umbrella agencies (CUA).
  • On Friday, May 13, at 10:00 a.m., The Committee on Public Safety will hold a hearing on the Police Department’s Neighborhood Services Unit, especially with regard to the prevalence of abandoned vehicles in the city.
  • On Friday, May 20, at 10:00 a.m., The Committee on Rules will hold a hearing on the Affordable Housing Preservation Overlay District.
Budget Hearings:
  • On Monday, May 9: Office of Property Assessments, Board of Revision of Taxes
  • On Tuesday, May 10: Managing Director’s Office, Mayor’s Office of Children and Families, Planning and Development
  • On Wednesday, May 11: Streets Department, Fire Department, Prisons

Authors

Joseph Hill

Senior Principal, Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies

jhill@cozen.com

(215) 665-2065

Brianna A. Westbrooks

Policy Adviser, Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies

bwestbrooks@cozen.com

(215) 665-4757

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