The tax appeal deadline in the City of Philadelphia is the first Monday in October: October 3, 2011.  In 2010, the State Tax Equalization Board (STEB) established the city’s “common level ratio” or “STEB ratio” at 32 percent.  This ratio is the ratio of assessed value to actual market value.  The tax assessment law for the city states that if the common level ratio differs by more than 15% from what the city says it utilizes, then the board’s ratio must be used when an appeal is filed.

In 2011, the city has used a ratio figure of 18.1 percent, which would mean the overall market value of properties used in the data sent to the board was much higher than last year.  Since most property values were declining or stagnant, this presents questions as to the validity of the city’s figures.

The city, therefore, appears to be in violation of the common level ratio, and an adjustment of values to the downside would seem to be appropriate.  In order to achieve such a reduction, property owners need to appeal by the October 3 deadline