By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A city councilman says Philadelphia homeowners who are fighting their new property tax assessments shouldn’t have to pay the bill next February if their appeal is still pending.

The new tax bills resulting from the citywide reassessment are due next February, but councilman Mark Squilla says it is possible that some of the expected appeals may not have been resolved by that point.

Under current regulations, homeowners would have to pay the new — and possibly higher — bill and then get reimbursed if they win the appeal.

Now, Squilla proposes that they would have to pay only the old, lower bill instead.

“This has them being able to pay last year’s taxes, so they would still have money coming in to the city,” he said.   “They wouldn’t have to pay the total amount until the appeal was completed.”

Squilla’s district, the First District, includes several gentrified neighborhoods — including Northern Liberties and Bella Vista — that have been hit hard by the reassessments.

His measure will be debated in committee.

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