Philadelphia’s yearly real estate tax revenues are up $92 million from four years ago and are on pace to meet budget projections, according to City Controller Alan Butkovitz.
A monthly economic report from Butkovitz released Tuesday showed that the city’s real estate taxes for the 2017 fiscal year increased 8% to $1.20 billion compared to collections during the same period in 2013. Pennsylvania’s largest city collected 1.4% more in real estate taxes from July 1 to March 31 in the 2016 fiscal year. The bulk of real estate taxes are collected from January through March due to a March 31 deadline, Butkovitz noted.
For Philadelphia to achieve its 2017 budget projections for real estate taxes it must collect a combined total of $44 million for the next three months, according to Butkovitz. The city allocates 45% of the tax into its general fund and remits 55% to the Philadelphia School District.
Butkovitz’s April 25 report also showed that monthly sales tax collections for March totaled $11.4 million, a 19% increase over the year-ago period. Home sales for March rose 13% to nearly 1,333. Yearly sales tax collections are at nearly $140 million heading into the final three months of fiscal 2017, Butkovitz noted.
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney has proposed a $4.4 billion 2018 budget. He has also proposed issuing $300 million in bonds to improve city parks, recreation centers, playgrounds and libraries.
Philadelphia general obligation bonds are rated A2 by Moody’s Investors Service and A-minus by S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings. The nation’s fifth largest city had $1.5 billion in outstanding GO debt in late 2016, according to Moody’s.