Actual Value Initiative
City Council members say their own analysis of new property assessments points to the great need for relief measures for those hit hardest by rising property values.
Larry Freedman says when he moved into his mixed unit building in 1986, it wasn’t much more than a shell. Now, he’s facing a tax assessment that could double his property tax bill.
Officials had expected about 30,000 requests of first level reviews. The Nutter Administration’s spin on the lower tally: many people are on board with their new value.
Philadelphia City Council today gets a chance to grill the Office of Property Assessment, which compiled the numbers behind the new assessments going out that have generated a lot of anxiety in the neighborhoods.
The chambers of Philadelphia City Council were packed to the rafters with angry union members as mayor Michael Nutter prepared to unveil his new budget.
Councilman Jim Kenney has introduced a plan to cut spending so the property tax rate stays at or below 1.0 percent.
Tonight brings two meetings — the first of dozens expected this month — staged by the Nutter Administration to reach residents who are confused or upset by their new property assessments.
In recent days both city controller Alan Butkovitz and councilman Mark Squilla have claimed that inaccuracies in the AVI assessments exceed the industry-accepted margin of error. But Mayor Nutter begs to differ.
Second District councilman Kenyatta Johnson says his district is among those that will be hardest hit by the move to the so-called Actual Value Initiative (“AVI”).
You may have your assessment, but two major questions are still unanswered: what is the rate on which that assessment will be taxed? And, what (if any) relief measures — such as a homestead exemption — will be offered by the city?
If you have questions about the assessment, you can call the Office of Property Assessment at 215-686-9200, or go to phila.gov/opa.
The Nutter Administration is mailing out more than 500,000 assessments to property owners — the first wholesale remaking of property values in Philadelphia in many years.
Katz voiced concern that sticker shock could be in store for young families who bought in to gentrifying neighborhoods. “And if en masse large numbers of them put ‘For Sale’ signs out, it’s going to drive the value of housing down,” Katz said.
Also looming is the continued financial woes of the school district, and the debate over the planned closure of 37 school buildings.
Several pieces of legislation were passed in the last session to enable Mayor Nutter’s property tax overhaul known as “AVI,” for Actual Value Initiative. Now, lawmakers plan to introduce more legislation to enhance the changeover process.