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Below please find answers to the most frequently asked questions.

1. What is the Center City District (CCD) and why am I receiving a bill?

The Center City District (CCD) is a private-sector organization founded in 1990 and committed to enhancing downtown Philadelphia as a clean, safe and attractive location in which to work, live, and visit. The CCD supplements municipal services by providing maintenance, public safety, hospitality and promotional programs for the central business district, and works in partnership with other civic organizations and stakeholders to ensure the competitiveness of downtown Philadelphia. Since 1997, the CCD has raised over $120 million from public and private sources to implement streetscape, lighting, sign and transit capital improvements downtown. CCD continues to enhance the public environment through the restoration and programming of downtown parks, including Dilworth Park, Sister Cities Park, Cret Park and Collins Park. Find out more about our parks venues by visiting www.CCDParks.org.

2. What benefits do I receive because I live within the CCD?

You live in the best maintained and managed area in Philadelphia. While municipal government cleans the streets and empties trash cans, your yearly assessment supports daily sidewalk cleaning a minimum of three times a day plus periodic pressure washing in the warmer months; graffiti removal from the ground floor of building facades, street poles, traffic boxes, and street signs; the deployment of uniformed public safety ambassadors, called Community Service Representatives (CSRs), who work in partnership with the Philadelphia Police Department; physical improvements such as improved lighting, signs, and landscaping; special events and promotions, such as Restaurant Week, and much more. To learn more about the CCD’s programs and services, please visit www.CenterCityPhila.org/about. CCD’s assessment revenues are used exclusively to fund services and physical improvements within the boundaries of the CCD.

3. How is my charge calculated?

Your annual charge is set by Commonwealth and City law and calculated by a formula that applies to all taxable properties, without regard to abatements, homestead exemptions and other exemptions provided by the City of Philadelphia. The following paragraphs explain how the CCD arrives at the assessed charges for commercial and residential properties.

In 2012, a change to the Commonwealth’s Municipality Authorities Act (the state law that governs the CCD) enabled the District to reduce by 50% the charges that are levied on residential single-family, cooperative and condominium properties. This reduced the share of the CCD’s annual budget assessed to residential owner-occupants from 10% in 2012 to 5% in 2013, while having minimal impact on commercial properties. The Commonwealth’s HB 1644, which was signed into law in December 2013, permits the CCD to use the same 50% formula authorized by the 2012 amendment, but now to ensure continuity, to add the goal that the total assessed value of residential owner-occupied properties will not exceed 5% of the CCD’s annual assessed value in any year, in order to address the impact of the City of Philadelphia’s Actual Value Initiative. To this end all non-residential assessments include a small, proportionate allocation that insures that the total assessed value of residential owner-occupied properties does not exceed 5%. To access HB 1644 Act 128 as approved, click here.

Practically, we calculated the adjustments as follows:
• CCD relies upon the certified assessed values from the OPA to calculate its charges.

• Upon receipt of the certified values the CCD calculated the overall assessed value on which its bills are based (the CCD does not recognize abatements granted by the City of Philadelphia, nor any additional reductions to value such as the Homestead Exemption available to residential owner occupants). The total assessed value of all properties within the CCD in 2016 is $11,725,853,056.

• Once these values were calculated, the CCD needed to test whether the aggregate residential assessments were greater than 5%, to determine if adjustment was necessary. As such, CCD segregated commercial values and residential values to ascertain the aggregate value of each component. The aggregate value profile was calculated as follows:

Certified Assessments Received from OPA

  $ % of Total
Aggregate Commercial Assessments $10,649,390,422 90.82%
Aggregate Residential Assessments $1,076,462,634 9.18%
Total - All Assessments $11,725,853,056 100.00%


• Since the aggregate of residential assessments was greater than 5% of the total, an adjustment was required by law to decrease the residential share and allocate the difference across all commercial properties based on their unadjusted assessed value.

• CCD then calculated a value for residential assessments that would equal 5% of the total assessments ($11,725,853,056 × .05 = $586,292,653). In order to reduce the aggregate residential assessed value to this figure, an adjustment of $490,169,981 was required ($1,076,462,634 - $586,292,653 = $490,169,981). Based on this adjustment, the revised assessment calculation is as follows:

Assessed Value Adjustments

  Original Increase/(Decrease) to Original Revised Assessment
Total
% of Total as Revised
Aggregate Commercial Assessments $10,649,390,422 $490,169,981 $11,139,560,403 95.00%
Aggregate Residential Assessments $1,076,462,634 ($490,169,981) $586,292,653 5.00%
Total $11,725,853,056 $0 $11,725,853,056 100.00%


• To determine the total assessed charge used, pursuant to the adjustments above, the we have provided an example calculation as follows:

• For a commercial property with an assessed value of $100,000,000:
We take the certified assessed value provided by the OPA (in this example $100,000,000) and divided it by the Aggregate of the Commercial Assessments ($10,649,390,422) and multiplied this by the adjustment amount ($490,169,981). The result is $4,576,267.39. The calculation is as follows:

$100,000,000÷$10,649,390,422×$490,169,981 = $4,681,934.30

 

Assessment

$100,000,000.00

 

Adjustment

$4,681,934.30

  Total $104,681,934.30

Based on this Assessment CCD’s 2016 Bill would be calculated as follows:

 

The assessed value of the property (as revised pursuant to HB1644) ($104,681,934.30), divided by the total assessed value of the CCD ($11,725,853,056) – equals a proportion that is then multiplied by our billing amount ($18,263,860). The result is the 2016 Charge ($163,049.65). The calculation is as follows:

$104,681,934.30÷$11,725,853,056×$18,263,860= $163,049.65

• For a residential property the calculation is similar; however, there would be a reduction in the assessed value. Therefore, assuming a residential property with an assessed value of $500,000, the calculation is as follows:

We take the certified assessed value provided by the OPA (in this example $500,000) and divided it by the Aggregate of the Residential Assessments ($1,076,462,634) and multiplied this by the adjustment amount ($490,169,981). The result is a $227,676.26 reduction. The calculation is as follows:

$500,000 ÷$1,102,752,474 × ($500,629,889) = ($226,991.05)

 

Assessment

$500,000.00

 

Adjustment

($227,676.26)

  Total $272,323.74

Based on this Assessment CCD’s 2016 Bill would be calculated as follows:

 

The assessed value of the property (as revised pursuant to HB1644) ($272,323.74), divided by the total assessed value of the CCD ($11,725,853,056) – equals a proportion that is then multiplied by our billing amount ($18,263,860). The result is the 2015 Charge ($424.16). The calculation is as follows:

$272,323.74÷$11,725,853,056×$18,263,860= $424.16

4. How did the OPA arrive at its valuation which the CCD used to calculate my bill?

Based on its responsibility to set values for all properties, the OPA, calculated a market value for your property which was the basis for the assessment that we used to calculate your bill. If you have further questions as to how the OPA arrived at your assessment, please contact them directly at 215.686.4334.

5. When is my Charge Due?

Your charge is due no later than March 31, 2016. After this date we may charge interest and penalties on the outstanding balance until your charge is paid. Charges to condominiums within the CCD are payable to the Condominium Association.

6. Why isn’t the property owner across the street charged? What are the boundaries of the CCD?

Every property owner with a taxable property assessment within our District boundaries receives a CCD bill. It could be that property owner across the street or on the next block is outside of our boundary. Please visit our website www.CenterCityPhila.org/ccdmap to view our boundary map.

7. What sort of problems can you help with?

Please contact us if you see any problems in the public environment that affect the safety, cleanliness, quality of life or attractiveness of your neighborhood. Even if the resolution is not the responsibility of the CCD, we will work with the appropriate agency to take care of the problem.

8. What do I do if I notice graffiti outside or another problem? Who can I call?

Please do not hesitate to contact our office to report your issue. We will be happy to take down the information and make sure that your problem gets addressed. You can reach us at 215.440.5500 or email us at info@centercityphila.org.

9. How can I stay informed about what’s going on in Center City?

As a property owner in the District you will receive our quarterly print newsletter, Center City Digest. You can also sign up for (IN) Center City, our free email newsletter at www.CenterCityPhila.org/incentercity/signup.php. The newsletter contains information about arts and cultural events, shopping and dining, discount coupons and more.

Our website is also a great resource about everything going on in Center City and includes information about our services, reports on downtown market trends and issues, connections to many other helpful websites and offers a searchable map to help you get information about all downtown amenities.

Thank you.

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