City of Philadelphia officially urges dismantling the BRT

Tomorrow, Philadelphians will be given the chance to dismantle the city's embattled Board of Revision of Taxes.

And let there be no mistake, the City of Philadelphia wants you to blow the place up. It says so right there on the city's website. And about a half hour ago, the city sent an e-mail blast to all of its employees encouraging them to "engage in fundamental reform by scrapping" the BRT.

That sort of blatant taking of sides seems odd in a city where the charter bans most employees from engaging in political activities, down to planting a yard sign for a favored presidential candidate.

So how on earth is this ok?

According to the mayor's press office, the dismantling of the BRT is a non-partisan issue, and thus fair game for the city to take an official position on. 

"As the rules stand now, employees are welcome to engage in non-partisan election-related activities, like poll watching or registering others to vote," said Maura Kennedy for the Nutter administration.

Since there are no Republicans or Democrats vying against one another in the matter of BRT reform, it too is a non-partisan issue, Kennedy said.

The text of the city's email to city employees is below.

Vote YES on Tuesday, May 18th to Abolish the BRT and Reform Philadelphia’s Property Tax System!
On Primary Election Day May 18, Philadelphia voters have a rare opportunity to engage in fundamental reform by scrapping the current outdated and inaccurate system for assessing real property and replacing it with a transparent, accountable system that will produce fair and accurate property assessments. By voting “YES” on the ballot question, Philadelphians will change the City Charter, moving the property assessment function into City government where Philadelphia taxpayers and voters will have strong checks and balances over the City officials who wield that assessment power.