Saturday, February 28, 2015

Council seeks relief for small businesses under AVI, aid for seniors

Maria Quinones-Sanchez introduced a bill today that would exempt the first $2,000 of use-and-occupancy tax for every property in the city. This measure, Quinones-Sanchez says would go a long way to aid small businesses.

Council seeks relief for small businesses under AVI, aid for seniors

Many observers praise the newest Councilmembers - Bill Green, Curtis Jones Jr., and Maria Quinones Sanchez, above - for lighting a fire under their Council comrades. Sanchez credits the leadership for being open to new ideas. (Jessica Griffin / Staff, File)
Many observers praise the newest Councilmembers - Bill Green, Curtis Jones Jr., and Maria Quinones Sanchez, above - for lighting a fire under their Council comrades. Sanchez credits the leadership for being open to new ideas. (Jessica Griffin / Staff, File)

Small commercial properties will see increases to their tax bills under the Actual Value Initiative, a new property-tax system based on market values.

In light of that, City Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez wants to aid small business that could get hit twice under AVI.

Last year to raise money for schools, Council increased the use-and-occupancy tax which is 5.5 percent of the value of the business portion of a property.

Quinones-Sanchez introduced a bill today that would exempt the first $2,000 of use-and-occupancy tax for every property in the city. This measure, Quinones-Sanchez says would go a long way to aid small businesses.

The use-and-occupancy tax provides revenue for the school district and Quinones-Sanchez' bill will also create a city-side of the tax which would be 1.38 percent of the business portion of the property. The overall use-and-occupancy rate would remain the same as more revenue will likely be generated from the tax under AVI than in previous years.

And as the Daily News reported today, some residents are not getting the message about the homestead exemption, a relief measure that would reduce a homeowner's assessment by $30,000. 

To aid seniors, Councilman Brian O'Neill intorduced a bill that would authorize the Revenue Department to reenroll low-income seniors who participating in the tax freeze program and will have lower tax bill sunder AVI. Under the bill, seniors in the program would also have the homestead applied to their assessments automatically.

About this blog
William Bender, a Drexel graduate who landed at the Daily News in 2007, has covered everything from South Philly mobsters to doomsday hucksters. He occasionally writes about local food trucks and always eats everything on his plate, whether it be a bloody rib eye or a corrupt politician. E-mail tips to benderw@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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David Gambacorta, has been a reporter with the Daily News since 2005, covering crime, police corruption and all of the other bizarre things that happen in Philadelphia. Now he’s covering the 2015 mayor’s race, because he enjoys a good circus just as much as the next guy. He’s always looking to get a cup of coffee. Send news tips and other musings on life to gambacd@phillynews.com
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