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How Changes in Property Taxes Shape Communities: Two Case Studies

Tax policy can shape communities, but detecting the specific impact requires analyzing public records data on real estate transactions. In this data talk, two researchers will use public records data to examine two questions.

Lei Ding will analyze the effects of gentrification, as well as several gentrification relief programs, on homeowners’ tax delinquencies, residential mobility, and displacement in Philadelphia.

Sarah Strochak will assess the likely impact of split roll legislation in California, which proposes to tax commercial and industrial properties based on their fair market value, resulting in a different tax rate for residential properties remaining under the jurisdiction of Proposition 13.

Mark Fleming will discuss both papers, highlighting the role of property records in the analyses.



  • Lei Ding, Community Development Senior Economic Advisor, Community Development and Regional Outreach Department, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia
  • Mark Fleming, Chief Economist, First American
  • Sarah Strochak, Research Analyst, Housing Finance Policy Center, Urban Institute
  • Laurie Goodman, Codirector, Housing Finance Policy Center, Urban Institute (moderator)


Support for this event is provided by the Urban Institute and First American DataTree LLC. For more information on the Urban Institute’s funding principles, go to

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Date & Time Thursday, August 6, 2020

  • Institute Fellow