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City Council Grills Nutter Aides On Property Tax Assessments

Finance Director Rob Dubow and City Council President Darrell Clarke (courtesy City of Philadelphia).

Finance Director Rob Dubow and City Council President Darrell Clarke (courtesy City of Philadelphia).

Mike Dunn Mike Dunn
Mike Dunn is City Hall bureau chief for KYW Newsradio 1060. He covers...
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By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Aides to Mayor Nutter were in the hot seat Wednesday as City Council members grilled them over the controversial new property assessments that have some residents fuming.

Council members questioned Finance Director Rob Dubow about the roll-out of the new assessments, including complaints they’ve heard that some of the new property values look off.

Council President Clarke said his office has received “six million calls” about the new assessments. And he vented that Council is being made to look like the villan if a Homestead exemption is used, since that would raise the overall tax rate being paid by everyone.

“The inconsistencies of sending out a homestead applications for $30,000 exemptions, and then unveiling the AVI process with no exemptions; it puts Council in a difficult place.”

Clarke was also unhappy that the Administration keeps mentioning a tax rate of 1.25-percent, even though the rate would need to be higher if tax exemptions are offered:

“I don’t like the fact that council is put in the position that if we enact some sort of relief measures — which we probably will — council all of sudden is moving the rate from 1.25-percent up. And all of sudden council’s the bad guy, and I really take issue with that.”

Dubow told Clarke that the mayor in his budget proposal will suggest a specific tax rate that will likely above 1.25 and take into account relief measures. And he said the budget will assume that some appeals by homeowners of the new assessments will be successful.