Philadelphia and Its Schools Suffer as Tax Delinquency Chokes Public Finances
Publication Date: June 11, 2012
Half a billion
dollars. That’s how much tax scofflaws owe the city and its struggling
With funding from WPF, journalist Patrick Kerkstra continues
his reporting in a joint PlanPhilly/Philadelphia Inquirer investigation.
Some breathtaking facts from the story:
- 18 percent of Philadelphia properties are in
arrears, by far the most of any big city in America.
- The total amount of delinquent taxes stands at
just over $515.4 million, an increase of nearly $44 million (9.3 percent) in
the last year.
- Since 2009, the total amount owed to the city
and the school district grew by more than $90 million (21.3 percent).
Kerkstra notes that Mayor Michael Nutter’s administration
has made some progress in reducing the number of delinquencies (down by more
than 8,000 this year), but the fact remains that the city’s finances and the
cash-strapped schools are missing more than half-a-billion dollars in revenue,
a figure that continues to get worse.
Kerkstra’s most recent article is available here. An
interactive map of the city’s tax-delinquent properties is here.
Coverage of earlier installments of the series can be found here.