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- Jan. 14 Workshop:HOW TO RUN FOR ELECTION BOARD IN 2013; HOW TO RUN FOR COMMITTEEPERSON IN 2014
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Sale of Tax Delinquent Properties made Philly $500K This Morning
Today I participated in the City of Philadelphia's Sheriff Sale of Tax Delinquent properties. Have you been? This is my fourth sale, and today I started keeping notes.
Number of properties for sale: almost 100
Total sold: 49
Total sale revenue: $558,000
Property spotlight: 1124 S. 48th Street
Number of years tax delinquent: 23*
Total tax principal owed: $47,653
Total Tax Balance: $98,646
Today's sale price: $11,600
Year City tore structure down**: 2007
Someone please explain to me again why our leaders can not see the damage done to our city's housing stock, to our city's infrastructure, and to its residents' quality of life by letting tax delinquency and L&I violations persist for so long? Why is it not better public policy to legally severe this owner from this property at a much earlier stage than what we see with this example? If, for example, the city had moved this to sale in year 5 of the owner's deliquency, it and us residents would have enjoyed almost 20 years of property tax revenue from the house, as well as sales tax, wage tax, and potential business privilege tax revenue from the family or persons that might have lived in it. And, the neighbors on the street would have enjoyed higher assessed values for their homes during transfers, valuations for equity lines for buying that second car, redoing the kitchen, sending junior to college, etc. They also would have enjoyed a better quality of life by not having to live next to a dangerous building. And a twin structure would still have its companion house on the other side of the party wall.
Isn't a city government's authority founded on the legal theory that we allow them to tax us and impose laws on us in order to protect our "health, safety, and welfare"?---so how does delaying, for 20 years, moving this property back into caring and responsible ownership comply with or support the concept of "a governing authority?"
*(at least, since the online BRT record stops at 1986)
** Apparently, the owner was contacted several times in very recent years and asked to "make her structure correct" but refused. Instead, she did market it for sale in the years up to 2007. Even though it was structurally unsafe and in complete disrepair, and the total tax bill by this time had reached over $90,000, she was still adamant in asking an outrageous price for it and in refusing to make the building safe.