Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

City Council Committee OKs $30k homestead, 1.34 property tax rate

Soon Philadelphians will have a much better idea of what they're tax bill might be.

City Council Committee OKs $30k homestead, 1.34 property tax rate

Council President Darrell Clarke, left talks with fellow councilmen William Greenlee, Curtis Jones (partially hidden) and James Kenney before Thursday´s session. (Ed Hille / Staff Photographer)
Council President Darrell Clarke, left talks with fellow councilmen William Greenlee, Curtis Jones (partially hidden) and James Kenney before Thursday's session. (Ed Hille / Staff Photographer)

Soon Philadelphians will have a much better idea of what they're tax bill might be.

After weeks of debate, a City Council Committee approved today two bills including one that would maintain the homestead exemption which would knock off $30,000 from a homeowner's assessment and set a 1.34 property tax  rate under the city's new property tax system known as the Actual Value Initiative. The homestead would help homeowners, some who will see large increases to their tax bill under AVI.

The Committee also approved a hardship tax deferral bill sponsored by Council members Kenyatta Johnson and Maria Quinones-Sanchez which would allow eligible property-owners to defer any amount exceeding 2.5 times their property tax bill until they can afford it or until the house is sold.

But weeks after a proposal to hike the liquor-by-the-drink tax by 5 percent was introduced in Council on behalf of the Nutter administration there has yet to be any movement on the bill which faces opposition not only among Council members, but also among state lawmakers. Council recently advanced Nutter's $2 per pack tax on cigarettes. Both bills would raise money for the cash-poor school district and need state enabling legislation.

Council president Darrell Clarke said the tax on booze is not yet dead, but he's waiting to see what will happen at the state level and wants more information on the collection rate. Clarke said Council will revisit the bill next week.

Council also has to approve an operating budget.

About this blog
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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