Philly tax delinquents cost city, neighbors Police: Man took them for a ride
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Tax-delinquent properties in the city of Philadelphia have crippled the tax base, eroded the equity of thousands of homeowners and starved city government and school district of badly needed funds, a Philadelphia newspaper said.
The newspaper said a yearlong Inquirer/PlanPhilly investigation of the tax enforcement system found that delinquency depresses the overall property tax base by at least $9.5 billion, almost 10 percent of Philadelphia's $98.5 billion in taxable real estate.
The delinquent properties lower the worth of neighboring homes by an average of 22.8 percent. In fact, 96 percent of all single-family homes in the city have lost value because of nearby delinquents, the paper said.
Eliminating such delinquencies could increase the tax base by almost $300 million a year, the paper said.
And while some of the properties are owned by low-income homeowners unable to pay their bills, at least 59 percent of all delinquent real estate in Philadelphia is owned by landlords, speculators and investors who don't live on-site, the paper said.
BERWICK -- Police allege that a man fabricated a story about being the victim of a hit-and-run last month because he wanted a ride home.
The (Bloomsburg) Press Enterprise says the 18-year-old Beach Haven resident was walking along Route 11 in Salem Township at about 1 a.m. on Feb. 8 when he called for help.
Police said he told officers and Berwick Ambulance personnel that he had been struck in the left leg by a pickup truck, but they could find no evidence of an injury.
Authorities said that he eventually acknowledged having made up the story so he could get a ride.
From our wire services