Homeowners in the most desirable neighborhoods of Philadelphia are seeing big increases in their real estate tax bills. A new city program is designed to soften the blow for the most vulnerable, but our Bruce Gordon met a woman on a fixed income still suffering from tax trauma! He's helping her get results tonight.
Laverne Durkson has lived in a modest rowhome on Canton street for more than 50 years. She's owned the place for more than a decade. Her property taxes were about $650 dollars last year payable in monthly installments, but with big increases looming in this popular part of town, Laverne was thrilled to learn of a new city program designed to soften the blow for low-income, longtime homeowners.
So she applied for the LOOP program and sent in her paperwork.
Then, late last week, Laverne got her 2014 tax payment book in the mail. There it was-a yearly tab of $2,039!
Laverne says her home isn't worth three times what it was-- she's barely able to maintain what she has!
"I had to choose between getting a new toilet installed, or getting the sink fixed. I had to go with the toilet," Laverne said.
With the first tax payment due next Wednesday, I reached out to City Hall for some answers.
Late Wednesday afternoon the mayor's office responded to my questions saying it will be March before applicants like Laverne will know whether they've been approved for the LOOP program.
In the meantime, they say, she should make a monthly payment based on the assumption that she will qualify.