Pair of Delco School Districts Denied Income from Billboards

You can’t tax billboards, and you can’t hike the property tax assessment for the land underneath them either — though two local school districts tried.

They seemed to be a sign for school officials struggling with budget issues: flashy billboards that are excluded from property taxes.

Desperate for more school funding, two local school districts tried — and failed — to get money from them via a different direction.

A Delaware County Court of Common Pleas judge recently ruled that local governments couldn’t increase the property tax assessments of the land upon which billboards stand either, according to a Philadelphia Inquirer report by Harold Brubaker.

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It could have meant an additional $175,000 per year for the Chichester School District and $150,000 per year for Chester Upland.

“If I own a piece of ground and I’m renting it to a billboard company for $2,000 a month, why shouldn’t I have to pay tax on the ground as if I can rent it for $2,000 a month?” asked attorney Donald J. Weiss.

Read more about the billboard assessment effort and the judge’s ruling in the Philadelphia Inquirer here.

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