Philadelphia Property Taxes
Jennifer Schultz, of Community Legal Services of Philadelphia, testified that the new assessment system known as “AVI” (Actual Value Initiative) left many homeowners confused and scared.
City Council will take a look at extending exemptions for longtime Philadelphia residents whose property taxes jumped tremendously under last year’s reassessments.
“We need the BRT right now,” Councilman Mark Squilla says. “We need them to have these hearings. We need them to make sure they’re fair and as soon as possible.”
It is the second major relief program to result from the new property assessments that were mailed out earlier this year, for tax bills that are due early next year.
The sponsor of the measure, Councilman Bill Green, says selling tax liens on foreclosed properties would bring millions to the school district that the city otherwise would never see.
The initial reviews of about 25,000 property assessments won’t be completed before the deadline to file a formal appeal, so the city is urging property owners to proceed without waiting.
Councilman Wilson Goode, who had originally proposed reducing the abatement slightly, is now pushing a plan to scale back the abatement more drastically.
After months of debate, Council president Darrell Clarke says he’s proud of the final version of the Actual Value Initiative that Council has approved.
The city plans to increase taxes on smokers and drinkers, and redouble its collection efforts on property taxes.
And tAlan Butkovitz says the administration needs to reassess its reassessments.
The discussion, titled “Philadelphia Taxes — Past, Present and Future.” was organized by the Pew Charitable Trusts and Temple University’s Center on Regional Politics.
Councilman at-large David Oh says questions abound over the accuracy of the new assessments, and he says the methodology released last week did not clear up how the new property values were calculated.
Under current regulations, homeowners would have to pay the new — and possibly higher — bill and then get reimbursed if they win the appeal.
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.
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.