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Old Posted Mar 28, 2019, 1:27 PM
City Wide City Wide is offline
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Originally Posted by iheartphilly View Post

The actual value of that lot is at present value and operating as a parking lot and should be assessed as the value of land/lot as a parking lot, and not what it can hypothetically be at a future point in time. In other words, it is being discounted for its use as a parking lot. You can not completely dismissed the parking lot piece and treat the lot with its use as a parking lot for something else. Once a developer is will to pay x amount over actual assessed value, the developer's intent of that parking lot/land is telling. The developer is not paying x many times over (sometimes in the millions as you said), to operate it again as a surface parking lot. So here the discount doesn't apply, because the intent of selling the lot to a developer is for the developer to put some kind of building that they think is worth what the surround buildings are worth or at least command some premium rental price per square footage. So until that changes, i don't believe the guy operating the parking lot should be assess some tax percentage in the millions because someone could potentially be paying for it for some other use in the future that is not a parking lot.

We differ on this, but I am not incorrect. We have a difference of opinion of how this stuff is assessed. I'm sure a case could be made to increase the valuation when it is truly under assessed, like comparing the assessment of another surface lot a block or two away. Plus where would the guy operating that parking get enough revenue to pay taxes if assessment was in the millions and also have enough to pay his employees and other overhead. It doesn't make sense. Many small businesses, sole proprietors, family businesses would be forced to close their business if done this way. Even in Manhattan, you still see small businesses and mom/pop in close proximity to the pricey neighborhood when it is held generationally. If they apply the value of the land to a high-rise on top of it, you wouldn't have anything except big corporations that could afford the rent or that if it becomes unprofitable to run a business there and it eventually moves. And, maybe that is the direction it will eventually go because big corporations can do it because the guy retires and want to sell for maximum profit.

If you have a parking lot that's valued at $500K for tax purposes and I come along and offer you $2M and you turn me down, I'd say it's pretty clear that the real world value, today, of that lot is at least $2M.
I don't think the State law allows this, but surface parking lots should be taxed at their full value, value as determined by the open market. Various factors will effect that value, like zoning. But the working principal is that its better for the City to have something other then a surface parking lot, so the City should do what it can to encourage development. Encourage, not force. If market conditions allow, or if the owner chooses to land bank the property, then maybe parking will continue. But I don't see anything wrong with the City working against parking lots.
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