Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Council wants independent auditor to check city's reassessment process

Shortly after the city released data related to the Actual Value Initiative questions began to swirl about the accuracy of the new assessments.

Council wants independent auditor to check city's reassessment process

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Bobby Henon. (Akira Suwa)
Bobby Henon. (Akira Suwa)

Shortly after the city released data related to the Actual Value Initiative questions began to swirl about the accuracy of the new assessments. 

And City Council has not been pleased with the answers it has received from the Office of Property Assessment (OPA) --the department that was charged with reassessing properties --about the methodology it used.

So today Councilmen Bobby Henon, David Oh and Council president Darrell Clarke introduced a bill today that would allow Council to hire an independent auditor that would audit OPA. The bill would also require OPA to release information related to its assessment process and demonstrate that its meets industry standards.  OPA would also be required to maintain their records for seven years and that information must be open to the public.  

"Right now we're not getting information," Henon said. "We're still not sure what methodology OPA and its assessors came up with in assessing real property in the city of Philadelphia. So for real checks and balances I think the audit is a direct and precise and concise way to get the proper data that we still have yet to receive."

Henon said in Washington D.C. which recently conducted a mass reassessment of its properties requires an annual publication of a report measuring the fairness and accuracy of assessments.

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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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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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