"How best to describe Philadelphia's 10-year residential tax abatement: Is it the city's most effective economic development tool or most inequitable public policy?
You can find plenty of evidence for both points of view in a recent Fels Institute of Government study (available at www.sas.upenn.edu/fels).
In one sense, the abatement is just what our city needs: a wealth magnet. This policy, through which the market value of new residential development can enjoy property tax-free status for a decade, generated $485.5 million in new market value in Philadelphia from 1999 to mid-2005."
"But as public policy, the abatement is lacking in one important respect: Most of the direct benefit of this incentive goes to the developers of high-priced townhouses and condominiums."
Thanks to John Kromer