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By the end of the month, Philadelphia residents will be receiving the results of their property reassessments as part of the city’s Actual Value Initiative.  This federally mandated initiative will determine the value of properties for the 2014 tax year.

In Hunting Park, a neighborhood where houses have dropped in value over the past several decades, residents are unsure of how this will affect not only their taxes, but their futures.

Latisha Davis lives on the 41oo block of Darien Street and will inherit her mother’s house in the next year. She worries that reassessment will bring higher taxes, and become yet another force that pushes home owners and renters from the neighborhood.

Residents of the 4100 block of Ninth Street are unsure about the future of their homes.

“A lot of people did leave, even the people that were renting. They left, didn’t even look back. It’s a shame,” Davis said.

Even Davis said she is planning to move from the area, but keep the house in her name to rent out to others.

“I don’t want to stay here. Period. I don’t,” Davis said.

James Dahlgren owns a home on the 1300 block of Hunting Park Avenue. He is concerned that his home, which he bought at a low cost and renovated, will be assessed at a much higher price than what he thinks it is currently worth.

“I just assume they are going to evaluate it for a lot higher than what I could sell it for,” Dahlgren said.

Dahlgren said he expects that if housing prices increase, people will have no choice but to stay in their current homes.

“I don’t think many people are likely to move. You want to sell [your house] to get away from your tax liability, well you can’t get enough for the house in order to buy anything with even close to the same amount of space,” Dahlgren said.

Dahlgren said he has no idea when the last time his house was evaluated. The city plans to notify every home owner by the end of the month.


Published in partnership with Philadelphia Neighborhoods