Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Council appears set to delay AVI for a year

City Council appears set to approve a plan to delay the mayor's proposed property tax overhaul by a year and provide $40 million in funding to the school district.

Council appears set to delay AVI for a year

Philadelphia City Council was in session Thursday, June 14th, and continued to tackle budget woes while listening to the concerns of citizens worried about increases in their taxes. Here,  Council President Darrell Clarke, left talks with fellow councilman before the start of this mornings session. Left to right Darrell Clarke, William Greenlee, Curtis Jones (partially hidden, and James Kenney. ( Ed Hille / Staff Photographer )
Philadelphia City Council was in session Thursday, June 14th, and continued to tackle budget woes while listening to the concerns of citizens worried about increases in their taxes. Here, Council President Darrell Clarke, left talks with fellow councilman before the start of this mornings session. Left to right Darrell Clarke, William Greenlee, Curtis Jones (partially hidden, and James Kenney. ( Ed Hille / Staff Photographer )

City Council appears set to approve a plan to delay the mayor's proposed property tax overhaul by a year and provide $40 million in funding to the school district.

"I think what we've reached is a great compromise which protects taxpayers from unanticipated increases," said Councilman Bill Green.

Mayor Nutter had proposed to move the city to a property tax system based on market values, known as the Actual Value Initiative (AVI), and wanted to raise $94 million for schools in the process. But over the past week, Council members grew increasingly nervous about the plan, raising questions about the fact that assessments are not yet complete and state enabling legislation has not yet passed.

Nutter, who had been in Orlando, FL for the annual meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, jetted back Wednesday night to try to revived the deal. He spent most of Thursday huddled in his office with members

Defying Nutter's requests, Council members said they will approve a plan to keep the current property tax system for the 2012-2013 fiscal year, with a pledge to go to AVI the following year. The schools funding -- far less than Nutter sought -- would be $40 million through a property tax hike and an increase to a business tax known as the use and occupancy tax.

Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown said she was glad some money would go to schools.

“I’ve been consistent and persistent that whatever the end agreement is, we continue to help the school district,” said Brown. “Can we deliver what the mayor asked for? It takes 9.”

The Nutter administration has warned Council that keeping the current tax system could result in costly property tax appeals, based on a ruling from a state tax board. But members said they were hopeful that state lawmakers could provide some relief from that threat.

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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