§ 19-1303.2.  Authorization to Offer Exemption from Real Estate Taxes on Improvements to Residential Properties. 180
   (1)   Legislative Findings.
      (a)   The Council finds that:
         (.1)   The great majority of Philadelphia's housing was built before 1939, and there are, in all neighborhoods in the City, numbers of occupied and vacant dwellings in need of repair and rehabilitation. It is in the City's interest to encourage such repair and rehabilitation, in order to preserve and improve the City's residential neighborhoods.
         (.2)   Act No. 34 of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, authorizing the exemption from real estate taxes of certain improvements to deteriorated dwellings, was duly approved by the Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania on July 9, 1971.
         (.3)   In accordance with said Act, the Council of the City of Philadelphia has held a public hearing to determine the boundaries of deteriorated neighborhoods within the City of Philadelphia.
   (2)   Eligible Neighborhoods.
      (a)   The Council of the City of Philadelphia has found and determined as a fact that Wards 1 through 66, respectively, constitute "eligible neighborhoods" for the purpose of Act No. 34 of 1971. 181
      (b)   Therefore, person making improvements to eligible residential properties within the definition contained in this ordinance within any of the foregoing eligible neighborhoods, may apply for, and the Board of Revision of Taxes may grant, a real estate tax exemption upon such improvements in the amount and in the manner hereinafter provided.
   (3)   Definitions.
      (a)   In this Section the following definitions shall apply:
         (.1)   Eligible residential property shall be any property containing one or more dwelling units located in an eligible neighborhood; or any property containing one or more dwelling units which has been, or, upon request, is, certified by the Department of Licenses and Inspections or by the Department of Health as unfit for human habitation; or any property containing one or more dwelling units which has been the subject of any order to be vacated, condemned, or demolished by reason of noncompliance with laws, ordinances, or regulations of the City of Philadelphia. 182
         (.2)   Reserved. 183
         (.3)   Improvements shall be any repairs, constructions, or reconstruction, including additions and alterations, which have the effect of rehabilitating a structure so that it becomes habitable or attains a higher degree of housing safety, health or amenity, or is brought into compliance with the laws, ordinances, or regulations of the City of Philadelphia. Ordinary upkeep and maintenance, or the building or erection of new dwelling units upon vacant land, shall not be deemed an improvement. 184
         (.4)   Delinquent City and School District of Philadelphia taxes, charges, fees, rents or claims. All City and School District of Philadelphia taxes, charges, fees, rents or claims not paid when due (including the failure of any employer to pay over to the City any wage taxes that were collected, or that should have been collected but for misclassification of workers) whether or not liens for such have been filed in the Office of the Prothonotary of the county, and shall include all penalties, additions, interest, and costs due on such delinquent taxes, charges, fees, rents or claims. 185
   (4)   Exemption Amount.
      (a)   The exemption from real estate taxes shall be limited to that portion of the additional assessment attributable to the actual cost of improvements to eligible property. 186
         (.1)   The exemption from real estate taxes shall be limited so that improvement for which an exemption has been requested in the manner set forth below, and for which a separate assessment has been made by the Board of Revision of Taxes.
   (5)   Exemption Schedule.
      (a)   The assessable amount of the improvement costs shall be exempted from real estate taxes for ten (10) years. The exemption shall commence for the first year for which improvements would otherwise be taxable. After the tenth year, the exemption shall terminate. 187
      (b)   The exemption from taxes granted under this ordinance shall be upon the property and shall not terminate upon the sale or exchange of the property.
      (c)   If an eligible property is granted tax exemption pursuant to the ordinance, the improvement shall not, during the exemption period, be considered as a factor in assessing other properties.
   (6)   Procedure for Obtaining Exemption.
      (a)   At the time a building permit for the construction of an improvement, for which exemption is desired, is approved, the permit issuing division of the Department of Licenses and Inspection shall notify, in writing, the taxpayer of the possibility of an exemption under this ordinance, the taxpayer shall apply to the Board of Revision of Taxes for such exemption. The application shall be in writing upon forms prescribed by the Board of Revision of Taxes. 188
      (b)   The Board of Revision of Taxes shall determine whether the exemption shall be granted. A copy of the approved request for exemption shall be forwarded by the Board of Revision of Taxes to the taxpayer.
      (c)   The Board of Revision of Taxes in determining whether the exemption shall be granted shall inquire of the Department of Revenue of the City of Philadelphia whether the taxpayer is indebted to the City or School District of Philadelphia for or on account of any delinquent taxes, charges, fees, rents or claims. The taxpayer shall provide to the Department such documentation as the Department shall require in order to determine whether there is any delinquency, including whether the taxpayer has paid over to the City all required wage taxes. The Board of Revision of Taxes shall withhold approval of the application until the taxpayer pays or enters into an agreement with the City of Philadelphia to pay the tax, charge, fee, rent or claim. The Board of Revision of Taxes shall withdraw approval where the taxpayer fails to pay delinquent taxes, charges, fees, rents or claims during the exemption period or fails to comply with his agreement to pay as provided herein. Any withholding or withdrawal of the exemption by the Board of Revision of Taxes pursuant to this subsection shall not be construed to stay the tolling of the exemption period for which a taxpayer would otherwise qualify. 189
      (d)   Upon completion of the improvement, the taxpayer shall notify the Board of Revision of Taxes, so that the Board may assess the improvements separately for the purpose of calculating the amount of assessment eligible for exemption. 190
      (e)   The Board of Revision of Taxes shall notify the taxpayer of the amount of assessment eligible for exemption. 191
      (f)   Appeals from the reassessment and the amount eligible for the exemption may be taken by the City or by the Taxpayer as provided by law. 192

 

Notes

180
   Added, 1974 Ordinances, p. 36. Enrolled bill numbered this as Section 19-1303(2); renumbered by Code editor.
181
   Erroneously designated in the Sixth Edition; renumbered by Code editor.
182
   Amended, 1978 Ordinances, p. 869; amended, Bill No. 970652 (approved December 9, 1999). Section 2 of Bill No. 970652 provides: "Effective Date; Application. This Ordinance shall take effect immediately, and shall apply only to exemptions for which application is made to the Board of Revision of Taxes on or after such effective date." Amended, Bill No. 020813 (approved April 25, 2003). Section 2 of Bill No. 020813 provides: "Effective Date; Application. This Ordinance shall take effect immediately, and shall apply only to exemptions for which application is made to the Board of Revision of Taxes on or after such effective date."
183
   Amended, Bill No. 020813 (approved April 25, 2003). See note 182 for effective date and applicability provisions.
184
   Amended, Bill No. 190944-A (approved December 30, 2019).
185
   Added, 1987 Ordinances, p. 302; amended, 1987 Ordinances, p. 1227; amended, Bill No. 200573 (approved January 20, 2021).
186
   Amended, Bill No. 970652 (approved December 9, 1999). See note 182 for effective date and applicability provisions. Amended, Bill No. 020813 (approved April 25, 2003). See note 182 for effective date and applicability provisions.
187
   Amended, Bill No. 970652 (approved December 9, 1999). See note 182 for effective date and applicability provisions. Amended, Bill No. 000227 (approved September 12, 2000). Section 2 of Bill No. 000227 provides: "Effective Date; Application. This Ordinance shall take effect upon the effective date of state legislation enacted subsequent to the enactment of this Ordinance authorizing this Ordinance, and shall apply only to exemptions for which application is made to the Board of Revision of Taxes on or after such effective date."
188
   Amended, 1978 Ordinances, p. 869.
189
   Added, 1987 Ordinances, p. 302; amended, 1987 Ordinances, p. 1227; amended, Bill No. 200573 (approved January 20, 2021).
190
   Renumbered, 1987 Ordinances, p. 302.
191
   Renumbered, 1987 Ordinances, p. 302.
192
   Renumbered, 1987 Ordinances, p. 302.