Nonprofit asks homeowners to donate their property tax abatements to school district

Mike DeNardo
December 28, 2018 - 1:29 pm
The School District of Philadelphia

Mike DeNardo | KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A nonprofit is asking Philadelphia homeowners to donate the proceeds of their property tax abatements to the city's school system. 

Letters are going out this week from the Fund for the School District of Philadelphia, asking about 4,500 property owners — who received tax abatements in the last three years — to give the money they would have paid in taxes to the district. The fund is a nonprofit that raises money for the district.   

President and CEO Donna Frisby-Greenwood said it's the first time the fund is making such an appeal.

"We talked to a few people who have abated properties who thought it was a good idea who said, 'Hey, I've never been asked. If people were asked, they'd probably give.' And so we decided to ask," she said.

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The abatements allow about 14,000 owners to pay no tax on new or improved properties for 10 years. Frisby-Greenwood said if only 10 percent of the abatements were donated, it could yield $8 million for the district.   

It's too soon to know what kind of reception the letter will get, she noted.

"We haven't heard from anyone yet to know whether or not they actually have arrived on the property doorsteps," she added.

Frisby-Greenwood doesn't have a fundraising goal, but she's hoping for responses from 10 percent of the people who get the letters.