Lessons learned from budgets past

Last year Mayor Nutter wanted to raise $94 million for schools under the Actual Value Initiative, a new property-tax system based on market values. Critics dubbed the proposal a backdoor tax hike.

Ultimately, because assessments were not complete Council opted to delay AVI for a year and raised only $40 million for schools.

Today, though Nutter will propose a budget that under AVI will collect the same amount of revenue in 2014 as in 2013. He also will not ask for additional money for the financially troubled school district.

Adminsitration officials admitted today that last year's failed effort to raise additional dollars for schools under AVI was a bad idea.

"The pledge that the Mayor made is that through AVI we would collect the same amount in 2014 as we collected in 2013," said Rob Dubow, the city's finance director. "I think one of the lessons from last year was trying to do something else really muddied it. AVI should be about getting assessments right, not raising new revenue."