PHILADELPHIA. If you’re looking for a new house, State Sen. Vince Fumo is trying to sell his Fairmount-area mansion. He may be asking almost $7 million, but you’ll save a ton in taxes.
Philadelphia’s Board of Revision of Taxes has valued Fumo’s 29-room home at $250,000 for the past six years, just a fraction of his $6,995,000 asking price. The BRT has required Fumo to pay just $6,611 in real estate taxes each year, which according to tax advocate Brett Mandel is the most vivid picture of the problems with the city’s assessment process.
“Even though thousands of people in Philadelphia are facing increased tax bills, Mr. Fumo hasn’t faced an increase in six years,” said Mandel, of Philadelphia Forward.
By Mandel’s calculations, using the defined formulas for Philadelphia, Fumo’s actual real estate taxes should be in the area of $185,000 per year — $179,000 more than Fumo is actually paying. Mandel, who found several other instances of houses being undervalued by the BRT, says this is proof that the tax assessment system needs to be overhauled.
“Whether it’s ineptitude, political shenanigans or worse, the system is unfair, unjust and it’s illegal,” said Mandel, whose organization is looking into filing a lawsuit against the city and pushing for homeowners to challenge their tax bills.
METRO: Thank You Senator Fumo!