On Thursday, February 28, 2019, Philadelphia City Officials held a ceremonial transfer of $19 million to the Housing Trust Fund, a fund for affordable housing. The money came from taxes on properties that have just ended their ten year tax abatement.
This transfer represents part of a deal that Mayor Jim Kenney made in a compromise that avoided creating a construction tax in the city.
This compromise has opened up conversations about re-evaluating Philadelphia’s current tax abatement system, and also support the need for affordable housing in the city.
From KYW Newsradio:
“By using revenue from our expiring tax abatements, we can assure that all Philadelphians benefit from our real estate boom,” Kenney said. “These funds will preserve and build more affordable homes for sale or rent, help families buy their first home, help homeowners avoid foreclosure and help renters avoid eviction.”
Council president [Darrell] Clarke says it was a good compromise. “The administration and city council don’t necessarily start at the same place, but we always have the same objective,” he said. “We always want to get to a point where we help the citizens of this City of Philadelphia. So, in this particular case the mayor was over there, we were over here, but we ended up in the same place.”
The mayor promised another 60-Million in the next five years, but by coincidence, on the very same day, Councilman Allan Domb introduced a bill that could affect that number. Domb proposes that the tax abatement be phased out in its final three years on a property, rather than simply ending after ten.
Photo Credit: KYW Newsradio 1060