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Old Posted Mar 28, 2019, 2:26 AM
allovertown allovertown is offline
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Originally Posted by iheartphilly View Post
Well, there lies the problem. The value doesn't increase until the purpose of that lot changes. So, why should the value of the lot be taxed as it full potential value (i.e., putting a trophy building or some high value building/business in its place), when the revenues for parked cars will not be the same as revenue for leases to occupy office space. And believe me, businesses in the city have been "forced" to leave and do business outside of city limits because of a plethora of business taxes. And, one of the main reasons Philly cannot attract more businesses is because of its taxes. That has been echoed here too many times to count.

In any case, I don't have faith in how property, land, parking lots or whatever is assessed by the city so that it is fair and evenhanded for everyone. Maybe the city can sell the city-owned parking surface lots first to private developers before trying to tackle an underassessment of privately owned parking lots.

Again, I don't like surface lots and would rather see the compromise of a new project that includes a garage in its place.
To the first point, that's simply not correct.

When a parking lot is sold to a developer for millions of dollars and many times what it was assessed for tax purposes, the purpose of the lot hasn't changed yet. It is still a parking lot at that point.

The land doesn't become worth more when it is improved. It IS worth more because it CAN be improved. Assets are worth what someone will pay for them, it's pretty straightforward. Improved or not, the location of these lots, their zoning, etc, is what makes them valuable and that's why people will pay huge sums for them well before the lot is ever improved. If every time a parking lot sells in the center city area it out performs by an insane percentage what the city assessed it for tax purposes, it's pretty clear that the city is habitually under assessing these types of lots.

Taxing parking lots or vacant land accurately, doesn't mean taxing them as though there is a trophy tower built on the land prematurely. It simply means taxing them what they are actually worth and what people routinely pay for them as empty lots. Once something is actually built on the lot and the purpose of the lot actually changes, then the property is worth even more. But these lots are valuable as parking lots and it is time they are taxed that way.
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