Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Councilman attacks flier alleging Council conspired to raise property taxes

City Councilman Bill Greenlee isn’t one of Council’s most boisterous members.

Councilman attacks flier alleging Council conspired to raise property taxes

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City Councilman Bill Greenlee isn’t one of Council’s most boisterous members.

But the at-large councilman blew off some steam today in response to a flier mailed out this week by the Greater Philadelphia Association of Realtors.

“I don’t ususally spend time speaking about mailings,” Greenless said from the Council floor. “However, in an instance when something is said by a well-known professional organization that is so blatantly unfair, misleading and just flat-out wrong, it has to be commented on.”

The flier asks recipients to contact Council members to “stop the property tax bait-and-switch.”

More specifically, it says that while Mayor Nutter and Council claim the compromise they reached on the city budget — which relies on state approval of a temporary 1 percent sales tax increase, and other measures — would prevent a property tax hike, “City Hall is planning a 19% property tax increase if Harrisburg says no.”

The budget compromise, states the flier, is a “sham.”

Piqued by this, Greenlee rightly pointed out it was Council all along opposing Nutter’s plan to raise property taxes.

He also rightly noted there is currently no plan calling for a 19 percent increase, and law prevents any tax increase from being implemented in the fiscal year that begins July 1. In fact, city budget officials are still at the drawing table figuring out what actions they would have to take if the state turns down the sales tax hike.

The flier, Greenlee said, is a “complete distortion of the facts.”

Al Perry, president of the Realtors associaton, did not immediately return a call.

Greenlee’s message to the association: “Next time you are doing something like this, how about knowing what the heck you are talking about!”

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The Philadelphia Inquirer's Chris Hepp, Tricia Nadolny, Julia Terruso, and Claudia Vargas take you inside Philadelphia's City Hall.

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