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Bulk of tax-abated properties are in 10 neighborhoods, report says

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The report was released by the City Controller

Philadelphia towers in Center City. Courtesy of Shutterstock

A new study released by Philly’s City Controller, Rebecca Rhynhart, shows that nearly 60 percent of the properties benefitting from the city’s 10-year property tax abatement are in 10 neighborhoods—most of which are around Center City, according to a report from PlanPhilly.

The study was released last week, looking at the repercussions of the abatement program, which gives a tax break to properties that undergo new construction or major renovations. Not surprisingly, the program has faced both controversy and support. Some argue it gives developers too big of a break, while others say it breathes new life into parts of the city in need of more growth.

The study showed that the majority of properties receiving the abatement are in Graduate Hospital, Rittenhouse, Point Breeze, Francisville, Old City, Logan Square, Northern Liberties and Hawthorne. Fishtown and North Central—which are a little farther away from Center City—are also in the top neighborhoods.

In addition to findings on the neighborhoods affected, the study also examined the types of properties that benefit from the program. One notable finding showed that most properties that receive tax abatements are valued below $700,000. Only seven percent of tax abated properties are above that price, PlanPhilly reported.

Finally, the study put forth several alternatives to the abatement program, including doing away with it entirely, taking it out of the most profitable areas, and capping the abatement at $700,000, according to PlanPhilly.

  • 10 Philly neighborhoods reap the lion’s share of tax benefits [PlanPhilly]
  • No property taxes, no problem: Study finds abatement positive for Philly [Philly.com]