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Philadelphia Lawmaker Wants One-Year Delay In Property Taxation Overhaul Plan

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(Philadelphia city councilman Mark Squilla.  Credit: Mike Dunn)

(Philadelphia city councilman Mark Squilla. Credit: Mike Dunn)

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A city councilman is proposing putting the brakes on Mayor Nutter’s plan to revamp Philadelphia’s broken property assessment system.

First District councilman Mark Squilla says too little is known about the effects of the mayor’s desire to move to what’s called the “Actual Value Initiative” (see related story).   That program involves a reassessment of all properties in the city, and Nutter is linking that to increased revenues so the School District of Philadelphia nets an additional $90 million (see related story).

Squilla, in a speech on the floor of City Council, said not so fast.

“My mother always told me, never dive into the water if you can’t see the bottom.  And you know what?  This is what we’re doing at this time.  I’m not willing to take that dip into the millage pool until we know how deep the assessments are,” he said.

Squilla introduced a bill that would delay implementation of AVI for one more year.  His idea will be considered alongside the mayor’s plan as City Council begins its debate of the budget on Monday.

Mayor Nutter, asked by reporters a short time later about the Squilla proposal, said it would be “irresponsible” not to move forward with AVI since the newer assessments are, in the mayor’s view, more accurate than the current assessments.  Council should “let us move forward and fix the system,” the mayor said.

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