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What Happens When Philadelphia Tax Abatements Expire?

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June 18, 2018

Mayor Kenney’s recently proposed increases in the property tax and real estate transfer tax in order to cover the School District’s $105m deficit will likely reopen the public discussion over the city’s ten year tax abatement program.  Council President Clarke has stated that he would like to “revisit” the abatement program in 2018. This begs the question: Has the Philadelphia tax abatement program been successful so far? What happened to previously tax-abated properties after the tax abatement expired?

Houwzer Senior Economic Advisor Kevin Gillen has written the parts I through III in a series of analyses examining previously tax-abated properties in Philadelphia. The first part of the series examined their transactions volume in the post-abatement period.  The second part examines what has happened to their market values following the expiration of their abatements. The third and final part examines the fiscal implications of the abatement, focusing on how much the abatement is actually worth versus how much the market is actually pricing it.