Here is a map for every City Hall conspiracy theorist.
You probably want to use your phone’s native browser rather than the Facebook thingie since web maps are difficult to get working right on Facebook’s mini web browser [Click here for fullscreen].
This map represents all the new adjusted land values the Office of Property Assessment has created after shifting a lot of people’s home values over to their land assessment. Over 400,000 property owners have been receiving notices informing them of adjustments being made to the value of their land.
This shift is important since many people who have assessment freezes and exemptions only have them on their building value, not their land value. Obviously that shift will cause increased payments from those who live in properties that have a 10 Year Tax Abatement applied to them.
But this map reveals more than that. It reveals way more than that.
For starters, the value that the City thinks your land is worth has a lot more to do with your race and whether you live in Gentrificationland. Areas of the city known to be predominately white-populated have far higher land values than areas which have more minorities.
Further, one area known to have very high housing prices has extremely low land values: Chestnut Hill. A quick picture reveals cool colors rather than the intense shades of red found in Fairmount and Point Breeze:
The City is also starkly aware of West Philadelphia’s “Line of Gentrification”, which they believe is 52nd Street.
It’s seems very obvious from this map of the City that the Office of Property Assessment has no idea what land value actually is, and it considers land value to be some function of what is sitting on top of the land.
Now comes the big glaring problem which is the loudest complaint of all. See those dark blue lots in areas that are hot-pink and orange? Here, I’ll show you Norris Square and South Kensington, where this problem shows up in the extreme:
The Elephant in the Room…
Here is the loudest complaint of all, visualized. Vacant lots are unfairly being assessed way below adjacent property. Land values should look like smooth graduations of color, steadily increasing values should approach some feature that is contributing to land value—like major employers, transit stations, water features, parks and other things that make land valuable.
But in Philadelphia we are doing the exact opposite. Vacant lots, abando-industrial and side yards have very low land values whereas residents sitting next to those lots pay multiple times per square foot for land that is essentially all the same.
Of course it isn’t fair. It’s stupid.
You should take this map and make your City Councilperson look at it and demand that they fix this unfairness. After all it’s your money, and you’re being asked to pay more and more every year.
Philadelinquency would like to extend a big shout out to the Mayor’s Office of Information Technology and Open Data for burning the Monday midnight oil to get the data out in time for Council hearings coming up this week.Tags: Office of Property Assessment | 2017 Land Value Map | land values | valuations