Homestead Exemption deadline for Philly is coming

PHILADELPHIA - September 10, 2013

The application deadline for the city's Homestead Exemption is on Friday, September 13th.

It could slash your property tax bill by hundreds of dollars a year, and anyone of any age and any income can apply.

But, if you haven't already applied, you'd better hurry.

Virginia Lowe of West Philadelphia is one of the people who has applied. She has lived in her home since 1973 and, because of the city's assessed value initiative (AVI), her property taxes were set to go up.

"I could not afford another tax increase because I just finally got my taxes straightened out last year," Lowe said.

So, she applied for the city's Homestead Exemption, a city program that may reduce the total assessed value of your home by $30,000.

"In effect, once the property tax rate is applied, it will end up lowering your property taxes," said Susanna Ratner of the Senior Law Center.

Lowe's application was initially denied - in part because the deed listed her maiden name. But, thanks to free help from Ratner and the Senior Law Center, Lowe's application was eventually approved.

"We had her re-apply, contacted the city and sorted out the problem and made sure she got a manual review of the application," Ratner said.

Last year Lowe's tax bill was $732, and AVI would have increased her bill to $889. Now, Lowe's bill will actually go down to $497.

You can apply for the Homestead Exemption by calling 215-686-9200 or visit the website of the Office of Property Assessment.

If you are 60 and older, and you need help, try the Senior Law Center. It offers free legal services to folks not just in Philadelphia but all over Pennsylvania.

The Senior LAW Helpline is 1-877-PA SR LAW (727-7529). You can also visit them online at

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