Item Coversheet

Action Item - 18.

Title: Amendment of Contract with Fellerman & Ciarimboli Law, P.C. ($2,000,000)

Board of Education Meeting Date:

Action under consideration

 The Administration recommends that the Board of Education authorize The School District of Philadelphia, through the Superintendent or his designee, to execute and perform an amendment of a contract, subject to funding, as follows:

Fellerman & Ciarimboli Law, P.C. 

To serve as the legal representative of the School District for the purpose of valuation appeals related to identified under-assessed properties.  They are the legal side of the Assessment Appeals project.

 Original Start Date:  9/9/2016

 Current End Date:  8/31/2017

 Amended End Date:  8/31/2022

 Currently Authorized Compensation:  $3,000,000

 Additional Compensation: 

 Total New Compensation:  $5,000,000 

Administrative Office(s)

 Renewal Options:  Yes

 Number of Options: 2

 Duration of each option to extend: Years: 1  Months:
 Maximum compensation authorized per option period:   $1,000,000


Under Pennsylvania law, local school districts are permitted to appeal property valuations that are believed to be below market.  Dozens of school districts across the Commonwealth contract with consultants to evaluate whether current valuations are appropriate, and to follow the local appeals process for establishing equitable valuations.  The School District undertook a similar effort to identify properties which are significantly undervalued and appeal those valuations, to ensure that the property tax revenues utilized to fund School District operations are being applied equitably.  This vendor represents the legal part of the Assessment Appeals Project Team. The District plans to continue this effort given its success to date.  Since the inception of the overall project, over 880 properties have been identified for appeal.  450 of the appeal filings have resulted in negotiated settlements which have increased City tax revenues by over $6.9 million, and School District revenues by over $3.9 million in year one (net of fees) and $8.4 million annually for year 2 and beyond.  These figures relate to the entire Assessment Appeals project, and reflect the combined performance of both the legal and property valuation vendors.

 Anchor Goal(s) Supported: Anchor Goal 4 - 100% of funding for great schools is secured with zero deficit   

 Related resolution(s)/approval(s): 

September 15, 2016; A-4

June 21, 2018; A-10

May 30, 2019; No. 27

 Funding Source(s): 

FY21 Operating

FY22 Operating


 Office Originating Request: Finance