Thursday, August 28, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

BRT Board Makes Deal With City Official

The Board of Revision of Taxes board this morning unanimously voted to approve an agreement with the administration to temporarily hand assessment authority to the city finance department, according to a BRT staffer.

BRT Board Makes Deal With City Official

The Board of Revision of Taxes board this morning unanimously voted to approve an agreement with the administration to temporarily hand assessment authority to the city finance department, according to a BRT staffer.

The embattled BRT board held hearings on the arrangement over a week ago, after the city solicitor deemed that the original closed-door deal violated the state Sunshine Act. Today's vote was not publicized on the BRT website.

The original agreement – known as a Memorandum of Understanding -- was approved by all six BRT members at an Oct. 7 meeting. But the deal came under fire for lack of transparency.

The understanding between the city and BRT is temporary. City Council is considering legislation that, if approved by voters, would abolish the BRT by 2011 and to create two new agencies: the Office of Property Assessment and the Board of Property Assessment Appeals.

The BRT came under fire this year with a series in the Philadelphia Inquirer, which detailed years of mismanagement, political patronage and flawed assessments at the agency.

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Chris Brennan, a native Philadelphian and graduate of Temple University, joined the Daily News in 1999. He has written about SEPTA, the Philadelphia School District, the legalization of casino gambling, state government, the mayor, the governor, City Council and political campaigns. E-mail tips to brennac@phillynews.com
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@phillynews.com
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Sean Collins Walsh is from Bucks County and went to Northwestern University. He joined the Daily News copy desk in 2012 and now covers the Nutter administration. Before that, he interned at papers including The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News and The Seattle Times. E-mail tips to walshSE@phillynews.com
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