The school district may need more cash, but many City Council members today said they aren’t ready to support Mayor Nutter's proposed property reassessment plan, which would yield $94 million in additional schools funding.
“Once bitten, twice shy,” said Councilman Curtis Jones Jr., referring to a similar plea for funds from the district last year. “We got bitten last year by the notion of saving kindergarten…Now we’re proceeding, unfortunately for them, with a notion of accountability.”
The school district’s chief recovery officer Thomas Knudsen yesterday said that without the revenues anticipated with the passage of the Mayor's proposed property tax plan, it was not clear the schools could open in the fall, according to this Inquirer report. The district would still face a shortfall, even if the city provides additional funds.
Councilmembers said they understood the schools need funds, but said they wanted more information about what the money would pay for. Members also said that while they understand that the current property tax system is flawed, there are unanswered questions about how Nutter’s proposed shift to a property tax system based on market values, known as the Actual Value Initiative (AVI), would work and if there would be enough protections for vulnerable homeowners.