PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) --Owners of about half a million properties in the City of Philadelphia got a surprise when they got new assessments in the mail.
They could owe the city thousands more than they expected.
One of those people is David Banks, who lives on Latona Street in Point Breeze, a redeveloping neighborhood in South Philadelphia.
Banks has a 10 year abatement on the residence he completely renovated in the 1900 block.
So for a decade, he will pay roughly one-half the amount of tax on the structure he would be assessed without the abatement.
But in their ongoing effort to balance the ratio of the value of the land versus the building improvements, the city tax assessor has just mailed out nearly 535,000 reassessments on the land value.
There are no tax breaks here, and that has Banks grabbing his wallet.
"My concern is that, just recently, we got notices in the mail that the land value, the taxable value, has increased. Mine increased several thousand dollars," Banks said.
The city's tax assessor says 85% of the taxpayers will see no change in their assessment, or could even see a decrease. But the city also admits some reassessments could trigger property tax jumps of more than $400 for three-and-a-half of those reassessed.
"Many of those large increases are due to new construction or consolidated accounts that we would put on the books anyway," said Michael Piper, Chief Assessment Officer.
For those taxpayers who don't think they're getting a fair shake on taxes, there is a channel for appeal.
"Anything that the taxpayer sees in the assessment notice they believe is incorrect based on an assumption on our part, please contact us through the first level review process," Wager said.
When property evaluation notices first went out in 2013, with dramatic reassessments, it generated some 50,000 appeals. Since then, that number has dropped dramatically.
Now the assessor expects the number of appeals to rise again, but he is far from certain at this point just how much.