By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – An early appeal may be the first recourse for thousands of Philadelphia homeowners if they take issues with new property assessments that were mailed out by the city Friday (see related story).

“I want to remind everyone that your assessment is not a bill,” said mayor Nutter.

He pointed out that when you get this new property assessment, don’t try to guess next year’s tax bill based on the current tax rate.

Nutter and City Council will settle on a new rate and possibly some degree of buffers for homeowners over the next few months. Only then will you know precisely the hit you’ll take under the new system.

Chief Assessor Richie McKeithen said if you don’t agree with the assessment, ask for a review with the included form.

“Fill out the reason why you feel as though your property is either assessed too high or too low,” McKeithen explained.

But that review can’t be based on ability to pay, only on your belief that the assessment is out of line.

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