First District, First Ward To Host Council Budget Hearing

City Council announced that the first off-site neighborhood budget hearing of the year will be held Wednesday, April 17, at Penns Landing Caterers, 1301 S. Columbus Boulevard, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The site sits in Councilman Mark Squilla’s First District, which should experience the largest tax hikes from Mayor Nutter’s property tax reform effort, the Actual Value Initiative (AVI).

Squilla has questioned the accuracy of the citywide reassessment key to AVI, and he has proposed phasing-in changes to tax bills over four years.

“As City Council continues to press the Administration for clarity on its Actual Value Initiative (AVI), it can only benefit the budget process to hear from as many residents impacted by this property tax system overhaul as possible,” Squilla said in a statement.

The site also sits in the First Ward, which is led by powerful union leader John J. “Johnnie Doc” Dougherty.

Dougherty’s electricians’ union, Local 98, last month set up an “AVI war room” at the Edward O’Malley Club in Pennsport, near Dougherty’s home. Dougherty said the site was created because “somebody has to stand up for the city's vanishing middle class.”

Philadelphia residents wishing to sign up to testify should call 215-686-3410 or 215-686-3411. Written testimony may also be submitted by e-mail to Chief Clerk of Council Michael Decker, at

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