A Sales Ratio Study of the City of Philadelphia’s 2013 Certified and 2014 Proposed Real Estate Assessments
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This report responds to an invitation by the Controller of the City of Philadelphia, effective April 11, 2013, to perform a timely and independent review of the pending reassessment of real property in the City of Philadelphia. The recent mailing of proposed 2014 assessed values, and the pending legislative decision to be effected by ordinance by Philadelphia City Council and the Mayor to certify the proposed 2014 assessed values for tax year 2014 makes such an independent review of broad interest. This report focuses on the relationship between the old and proposed assessed values and recently observed sales prices. Such comparisons inform on the accuracy and fairness of the results of the reassessment process. An examination of the plausibility and accuracy of the underlying data publicly available and used by the Office of Property Assessments of the City of Philadelphia to perform the reassessments, and a spatial analysis of aspects of old and new assessed values provide insights into how the results of the reassessments should be viewed. By correlating measures of the assessment level and quality of assessments with median earnings and ethnicity by 5 digit zip code, further insights about the fairness of reassessment results can be ascertained.