New Commercial Property Tax Assessments Hit East Passyunk Avenue

Business owners around the city are receiving notices from the Office of Property Assessment this week that their property value has increased. Those along East Passyunk Avenue are seeing a tax hike that could result in very difficult decisions.

New Commercial Property Tax Assessments Hit East Passyunk Avenue

On East Passyunk Avenue, the average commercial assessment rose 65 percent, with a number of property assessments doubling, tripling, or quadrupling. Bryan Fenstermaker, director of the Passyunk Avenue Revitalization Corporation—a group that has helped engineer the successful growth of Passyunk Avenue by picking and choosing tenants in properties it owns and offering deals on rent to some businesses—declined to discuss the tax hikes, because PARC is actually in the process of selling five of its buildings on the avenue. (He did specify, though, that the decision to unload properties was in the works before the new assessments were released.) – Plan Philly

So how much?

At 1801-1803 East Passyunk Avenue, the property that’s home to Stogie Joe’s, the assessed market value went from $305,000 in 2017 to $1,678,300 in 2018, a 450 percent increase year over year, levying an extra $20,000 in annual taxes. At Marra’s, the stalwart Passyunk Avenue Italian restaurant, the assessment rose from $482,400 to $1,174,500, meaning the tax bill will be $10,000 higher next year than last year. And at three properties near the Passyunk fountain owned by PARC—Brigantessa, Black ‘N Brew, and a corner hardware store—assessments rose an average of 145 percent, with a total tax increase of more than $12,000.- Plan Philly

The new property values are to take effect for Tax Year 2018, with property taxes due on February 28, 2018.

13 thoughts on “New Commercial Property Tax Assessments Hit East Passyunk Avenue

  • May 17, 2017 at 7:45 am

    As much as I think property taxes should be raised across the board in Philly, this is a stupid move on the part of the city. They should gradually increase the assessed value over time so as to not create undue hardships on the businesses on the Ave. We don’t need more vacant places.

    I suppose we’ll eventually be seeing passthroughs to the renters. Mom and pop shops who don’t own the building could end up going kapoof.

  • May 17, 2017 at 1:43 pm

    Why is this city so f***ing stupid? I can’t tell if it’s driven by laziness or a lack of collective IQ. Yes, values will go up and that’s a good thing for the most part, but 450% in one year? That’s criminal. And it’s going to yield VERY bad results for everyone. Seriously, is anyone looking at the bigger picture? Gradually increase and assist residents and businesses as you do so.

    The city should be helping the sum of its parts to stay above water while it rises, not biting off its nose in spite of its face.

  • May 17, 2017 at 4:23 pm

    The city has major issues with the way it accesses properties. The city offers the 30k owner occupant credit which is greater then many of homes in undesirable areas are worth. The owners have access to the city service and don’t pay a dime for them. Then they reassess values and pass on the cost to people who live in decent areas or up and coming areas of the city to compensate. The city needs to have a minimum tax that should be due from all property owners to cover for trash collect, police and firemen, schools, and infrastructure improvements. If you live somewhere you should pay your fair share for the services provided rather then over taxing hardworking business owners who help to revitalize areas and bring up property values around them.

    • May 18, 2017 at 2:02 pm

      They do pay their share in wage and sales tax.

      Imagine how this sounds: There is an occupancy exemption for property tax, but only if your house is still worth x amount after the exemption is put in place. So poor people living in the poor neighborhoods in your house that you could barely sell to avoid paying a tax you can’t afford, you do not get this special tax exemption. People living in neighborhoods where home values have skyrocketed and you will walk away with a 200% profit on your home investment should you need to sell? You’re good. You can have this special help on your taxes.

  • May 17, 2017 at 5:47 pm

    Look at South Street.
    That’s the best example of how this ruins a good thing.

    • May 17, 2017 at 10:03 pm

      Are we talking South Street WEST of Broad, or EAST?

    • May 18, 2017 at 1:58 pm

      Yeah….South Street and property assessment are not the argument you think it is. South Street’s decline was due to something completely different, and not only that, but South Street west of Broad is currently improving at an impressive rate.

      • May 18, 2017 at 8:20 pm

        Right, there’s “South Street for Grownups” (west) and “South Street for Teenagers” (east). One group has money to spend, the other doesn’t.

        • May 19, 2017 at 10:44 am

          One just invested more in the revitalization recently, but the real downfall to South Street was the never built crosstown expressway. While the South Street area was never what East Passyunk is today, when businesses were being forced to close because of demolition, the area went way south. The only people that remained were the holdouts that could not really afford to leave.

          The TLA moved in, and the expressway was never built, so the eastern stretch started to come back to life, only to hit the economic turmoil of the late 70’s and 80’s, and it again started to go downhill. But, by the time that South Street West was starting to turnaround, East already had the reputation of being the eclectic and tumultuous area, and has struggled to gain the steady business presence that drives redevelopment.

  • May 19, 2017 at 10:33 am

    I recently visited South Street West area to have dinner at an excellent BYOB restaurant. It has really revitalized nicely. South Street East is a whole other matter. My fear in living in the East Passyunk area is that the Avenue is going to suffer greatly from this and only the most established and successful businesses will survive. We already have a too many vacant buildings that can’t be rented as it is before this tax takes effect. That Interior Concepts Building is unrentable now unless you put an established chain there that can afford that kind of tax, something the Avenue doesn’t want to do. If you start doing that sort of thing, you’ll start getting the Broad and Snyder clientele. Like someone said earlier, the Mom and Pop shops don’t stand a chance.

    • May 19, 2017 at 10:45 am

      I have seen groups going in and out of Interior Concepts with realtors. If it was unrentable, no one would even be taking the tour.

  • May 22, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    Those are ridiculously large increases for Stoagie Joe’s and Marras. I’m sure both are hiring attorneys right now to fight the assessment.

    • May 23, 2017 at 10:11 am

      You don’t need an attorney, you just need to fill out an appeal form

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