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File #: 160283    Version: 0 Name:
Type: Resolution Status: ADOPTED
File created: 4/7/2016 In control: CITY COUNCIL
On agenda: Final action: 5/26/2016
Title: Expressing Council's support for an amendment to the Pennsylvania Constitution that would authorize the General Assembly to establish reasonable classes of real property for the purposes of taxation.
Sponsors: Council President Clarke, Councilmember Henon
Indexes: TAXES
Attachments: 1. Resolution No. 16028300.pdf, 2. Signature16028300.pdf
Title
Expressing Council's support for an amendment to the Pennsylvania Constitution that would authorize the General Assembly to establish reasonable classes of real property for the purposes of taxation.

Body
WHEREAS, Under the Pennsylvania Constitution as judicially interpreted, all real property must be taxed at the same rate unless a specific exception is provided in the Constitution; and

WHEREAS, Many other jurisdictions in the country have successfully implemented dual or multiple tax rates for different categories of property, either by specifying different rates for different classes of property, or by specifying different assessment ratios for different classes of property. For example, the District of Columbia defines five separate classes of real estate, each taxed at a different rate: residential; business properties assessed at $3 million or less; business properties assessed at more than $3 million; vacant property and blighted property; and

WHEREAS, The overall purpose of establishing different classes of real estate and taxing them at different effective rates is to distribute the tax burden in a fair manner that encourages the growth of the local economy and avoids overburdening any portion of the community; and

WHEREAS, In the fall of 2012, when the City Administration was undertaking the Actual Value Initiative to reassess every property at its fair market value, Council's independent analysis revealed that AVI would result in a massive shift in the relative share of real estate taxes from commercial properties to residential properties; and

WHEREAS, To provide relief to homeowners, Council collaborated with the City's Harrisburg delegation to develop a package of proposals, including an amendment to the Pennsylvania Constitution laying the groundwork for different real estate tax rates for residential and commercial property; and

WHEREAS, Although the proposed constitutional amendment did not move forward after introduct...

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