The state House Urban Affairs Committee on Monday passed three bills that are part of a package of legislation designed to lessen the impact of Mayor Nutter’s property tax reform effort, the Actual Value Initiative (AVI).
One bill, sponsored by state Rep. Cherelle L. Parker, chair of the Philadelphia delegation, would give the city the authority to place liens on property owned outside the city by delinquent taxpayers. That measure is intended to address the issue of speculators and other delinquent taxpayers who live and pay property taxes outside the city, while ignoring tax bills in Philadelphia.
A second bill, sponsored by state Rep. Mike O’Brien, would allow the city to conduct “means testing” for gentrification relief, which is a tax break for longtime homeowners in growing areas of the city. The bill would allow the relief to be based on income and age, preventing tax breaks from going to wealthy homeowners who otherwise might qualify.
The third bill, introduced by state Rep. Mike McGeehan, would allow homeowners to pay their property taxes in periodic installments. Homeowners with mortgages pay monthly into escrow accounts, but those without mortgages must make a one-time payment. As many as 40 percent of Philadelphia homeowners do not have mortgages, according to a recent Council analysis.