AVI delay could force revisions to city's five-year financial plan

The city’s fiscal watchdog today told the Nutter administration that if the mayor’s proposed property tax overhaul is delayed, then the city needs to revise their five-year-financial plan.

Sam Katz, board chairman of the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority, said that if the move to a property tax system based on market values – known as the Actual Value Initiative (AVI) -- is held up by City Council, the city should rewrite the five year plan based on the assumption that the current tax system remains in place. Katz reasons that it’s not prudent for the administration to count on Council approving AVI in the future.

Finance Director Rob Dubow said such a rewrite would require the city to project cuts in future years, given the expectation of costly appeals without AVI. He said it was too soon to say exactly how that would play out.

Of course, if Council does next year approve AVI for the 2013-14 fiscal year, as they currently are pledging, then many of those cuts would likely be a non-issue.