BRT Attempting To Plan Ahead For Property Tax System Overhaul
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By Mike Dunn
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – With Mayor Nutter pushing for a top-to-bottom overhaul of how Philadelphia calculates its property taxes, the head of the agency that hears appeals fears a landslide of cases in the coming year.
Mayor Nutter is urging City Council to approve a switch to the Actual Value Initiative, which involves new assessments of every property and taxes based on the actual market value, not a smaller percentage. Testifying before City Council this past week was Judge Alan Silberstein, the chairman of the Board of Revision of Taxes, which hears all appeals. He admitted that he doesn’t know what kind of staffing he’ll need if the change happens and that the BRT is flooded with appeals.
“We put into our budget a contingency plan. But quite frankly, we don’t know what we would need. We’re already anticipating having hearings every day, morning and afternoon, and still wouldn’t be able to hear all the appeals,” Silberstein said.
The new assessments would be mailed out in late August, and property owners who are unhappy — and there may be many — would have until October to file for an appeal.
Some on council seem to favor delaying AVI until 2013, by which point the assessments would be complete.