Monday, November 24, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Archive: March, 2012

POSTED: Thursday, March 29, 2012, 10:28 AM

Josefina Rivera recalls what it was like being kidnapped and tortured by Gary Heidnik, 25 years after she escaped the madman's clutches.

A tow truck driver was sentenced to life in prison for killing a driver from a rival company.

Ronnie Polaneczky says the movie "Bully" should be required viewing for all teens.

POSTED: Wednesday, March 28, 2012, 4:20 PM

Councilman Jim Kenney today pushed the administration on why Council should support providing additional revenue to the embattled school district.

Mayor Nutter has proposed shifting to a property tax system that would use market value assessments, an effort known as the “Actual Value Initiative” (AVI). So far Nutter's budget plan has been greeted with caution in Council, because Nutter wants to bring in an extra $90 million in revenue for the school district in the coming fiscal year. Critics call the move a “back door tax hike,” while the administration says they are just capturing an increase in property values.

At a budget hearing this morning, Kenney questioned why the schools need the extra money, saying: “The $94 million in additional revenue that is projected as a result of AVI and the millage adjustment, can we justify it?”

POSTED: Wednesday, March 28, 2012, 1:46 PM

Budget hearings continued today with more pointed questions from City Council members about Mayor Nutter's plan to move to a property tax system that uses market values, collecting an additional $90 million in the process.

Councilman Bill Green went several rounds with Finance Director Rob Dubow about the move to what is known as the "Actual Value Initiative." Critics say that because the administration wants to bring in additional revenues, they are seeking a tax hike, while the administration insists they are just capturing the rise in real estate values.

Green noted that when Dubow was executive director of the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority, which oversees the city budget, he authored a report which said any shift to AVI should be revenue neutral to avoid public opposition. (You can read the report here.)

POSTED: Wednesday, March 28, 2012, 9:25 AM

As the Pennsylvania primary draws cloer, a new poll shows Mitt Romney gaining on Rick Santorum.

Philly police try to crack down on strip clubs, saying they can bring prostitution and violence.

Some voters are still being wrongfully charged for voter IDs.

POSTED: Wednesday, March 28, 2012, 8:56 AM

Quinnipiac University is out today with a poll measuring President Obama against the two top Republican challengers, former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney and former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, in the key swing states of Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida.  The poll finds Obama opening up a lead on both Republicans in a potential November general election match-up in Ohio and Florida.  But Pennsylvania is still too close to call if Obama faces Romney in the fall.

The poll found:

  • Pennsylvania: Obama over Romney 45 - 42 percent; Obama over Santorum 48 - 41 percent.
  • Florida: Obama over Romney 49 - 42 percent; Obama over Santorum 50 - 37 percent.
  • Ohio: Obama over Romney 47 - 41 percent; Obama over Santorum 47 - 40 percent.

The poll also found that 50 percent of this state's voters disapprove of the job Obama is doing as president and don't want to see him re-elected.  The economy, unemployment, the 2010 federal Affordable Health Care Act -- now being debated before the U.S. Supreme Court -- and the federal deficit were the top concerns among Pennsylvania voters.

POSTED: Tuesday, March 27, 2012, 7:28 PM

Has Mayor Nutter changed his tune on how to overhaul the property tax system since he was a councilman?

As you know, Nutter has proposed shifting the city to a property tax system based on market values, a move known as the Actual Value Initiative. The property tax revenue expectations Nutter has set for the coming fiscal year mean that he is memorializing two tax hikes billed as temporary, as well as collecting an additional $90 million next year for the schools.

Critics have called this move a tax hike, while Nutter has insisted he’s just capturing the increase in property values in the city. A lengthy battle with City Council over the proposal seems likely.

POSTED: Tuesday, March 27, 2012, 8:59 AM

As new facts and claims come forward in the Florida shooting death of Trayvon Martin and another vigil is held in Philadelphia, Jenice Armstrong says the "public sliming" of the dead teen is under way.

The Philadelphia Police Department issued a memo to all officers in September, reminding them that it is legal for people to take pictures in public.  That didn't stop police from arresting a Temple University student who photographed officers during a car stop.  Police now claim the student, who was taking pictures for a class, was hindering apprehension -- a felony -- but won't say how.

One teen pleads guilty to simple assault while charges are withdrawn against two other teens in an attack on a cab passenger in January.

POSTED: Monday, March 26, 2012, 1:20 PM

It’s all AVI today in City Council as  budget hearings kick off in earnest with the Nutter administration in the hot seat to explain their property tax plans.

Mayor Nutter wants to shift the city to a property tax system based on market values, a move known as the Actual Value Initiative. The property tax revenue expectations Nutter has set for the fiscal year that starts July 1 mean that he is memorializing two tax hikes billed as temporary, as well as collecting an additional $90 million next year for the schools.

Critics have labeled the plan a “back-door” tax hike, while the administration says they are simply capturing an increase in property values. Council has been pushing the administration today on how the plan would work.

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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