By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The controversy over Philadelphia’s new property assessments has led to a related debate over the city’s 10-year tax abatement.

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The city controller on Tuesday told council that the abatement is basically unfair to other homeowners who now face higher taxes under AVI.

At a city council budget hearing, Controller Alan Butkovitz was asked if the 10-year tax abatement is unfair if property owners who are not abated could see high tax bills after the reassessment.

The Controller said while he sees the benefit of the abatement to the city as a whole, it is unfair to individuals.

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“You have a big construction project right next to your house, and they get 10 years tax forgiveness,” Butkovitz said. “And you get the brunt of a bigger tax bill — and somehow you don’t share in the tax forgiveness!”

City Councilman Wilson Goode has proposed scaling back the abatement to five years, with the tax break decreasing annually from 100-percent down to 20-percent.

That bill was introduced last year, but has not yet been debated in committee.

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