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Useful information on the Longtime Owner-Occupant tax relief Program (LOOP) / Gentrification Relief

Homeownership and Consumer

Useful information on the Longtime Owner-Occupant tax relief Program (LOOP) / Gentrification Relief

Date Posted: 
03/03/2016

As a result of the City’s re-assessment of property values under the Actual Value Initiative (AVI) in 2013, many homeowners saw a big jump in their real estate taxes. To help long-time owners, the City introduced a new program called the Longtime Owner Occupants Program (LOOP). LOOP, sometimes referred to as Gentrification Relief, has helped many people who own their homes in neighborhoods that have seen a big increase in property values. LOOP provides for significant property tax savings over as ten-year period. But you must submit a one-page application before February 17th in order to get the benefit this year. At its discretion, the City may accept applications after the deadline.

WHO QUALIFIES?

  • Homeowners who have lived in their homes for at least 10 years (or five years, if property was acquired through a housing program) as of July 1st of last year.
  • Assessed property value (“Certified Market Value”) has more than tripled from the previous tax year.
  • Property taxes must be current or in a payment agreement.
  • Property may not have received a tax abatement.
  • Low- and moderate-income homeowners (most CLS-eligible clients will qualify.)

WHAT’S THE BENEFIT?

The short version: Homeowners who see their property assessments triple or more from one year to the next and who otherwise qualify for LOOP will save money on their property taxes for the next ten years. Some will save A LOT of money. 

The long version: If a homeowner qualified for LOOP in 2014, their 2014 assessment was capped at no more than 300% of their 2013 assessment. For example, in 2013, a senior in West Philly paid $2,676 in property taxes on her home assessed at $85,600. In 2014, after her assessment increased, she faced a tax bill of $5,489 after her home was re-assessed at $439,700. The certified market value of her home jumped in 2014 by more than 300%. Under LOOP, her home’s market value for tax purposes will be capped for 10 years (through 2023) at $256,800. She paid $3,441 in 2014 for a savings of $2048 under LOOP. 

HOW DO I GET AN APPLICATION?

Contact the Office of Property Assessment through their website at www.phila.gov/OPA/AboutUs/Pages/ContactUs.aspx or by phone at 215-686-9200 or in person at OPA, Curtis Center, 601 Walnut Street, Suite 300W, Philadelphia, PA 19106.

HOW DO I FIND OUT A Home’s assessed value?

https://alpha.phila.gov/property/

WHAT HAPPENS IF I MISS THE FEBRUARY 17 DEADLINE?

Homeowners who don’t apply for LOOP by February 17th will not get the benefits of LOOP for the current tax year even if they apply later.

Missing 2014’s LOOP application deadline caused homeowners to lose their chance to limit the impact of the VERY high reassessments some homeowners saw that year as a result of the Actual Value Initiative (AVI). Most people will not see such a large (300%) increase again after the 2014 “jump” so LOOP will not help homeowners facing smaller valuation increases homeowners may see in future tax years. While it is possible that some homeowners who ‘escaped’ 2014’s AVI increases may see a 300% increase in their valuations in the future, most homeowners will not since they were already hit with the big “AVI” jump in 2014.

WHAT NEIGHBORHOODS HAVE THE MOST HOMEOWNERS WHO MIGHT QUALIFY?

The chart below shows the top 10 zip codes with the most number of homeowners who are thought to qualify for LOOP. Many of these neighborhoods have a high concentration of low-income households. 30% of households in 19146, have annual incomes below $25,000.