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East Torresdale residents hear from Department of Revenue

Vicki Riley, of the city’s revenue department, explained several property tax relief programs at the most recent East Torresdale Civic Association meeting.

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A representative from the city Department of Revenue visited the East Torresdale Civic Association on Monday, Feb. 11, and spoke to residents about property tax relief programs.

The Homestead Exemption and the Longtime Owner Occupant Program are two of the avenues available to homeowners who want to lower their taxes, said Vicki Riley, of the revenue department.

Any property the owner uses as their primary residence is eligible for the Homestead Exemption, and you only have to apply for it once. Riley said the average homeowner in the city saves about $550 a year with the exemption.

To sign up for the Homestead Exemption, go to beta.phila.gov/homestead, call 215-686-9200 or visit a Department of Revenue service center. The center in Northeast Philadelphia is inside the municipal services building at 7522 Castor Ave.

To quality for LOOP, residents must have lived in their homes for 10 years or more and their property assessment has to have tripled from one year to the next. In addition, applicants have to fall under certain income caps.

Property owners are not allowed to enroll in LOOP and have the Homestead Exemption at the same time, Riley said.

She said another initiative aimed at helping homeowners is the Low Income Senior Citizen Real Estate Tax Freeze Program. Residents over the age of 65 can prevent future increases to their property taxes if they make $27,500 or less as an individual or $35,500 or less for a married couple.

The deadline to apply to freeze your taxes at last year’s rate is March 15, Riley said.

Riley also spoke about city programs to help property owners pay back taxes and aid residents struggling to pay their water bills. For more information, visit www.phila.gov/revenue

The East Torresdale Civic Association’s next meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m., Monday, March 11, at Liberty Free Evangelical Church, Milnor Street and Linden Avenue. ••

Jack Tomczuk can be reached at jtomczuk@newspapermediagroup.com

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