Green introduces bill to revamp BRT

As promised, City Councilman Bill Green this morning introduced legislation that would revamp the Board of Revision of Taxes. Though the legislative process is now officially underway, any ultimate changes would not take place until and unless they were approved by voters on the May 2010 ballot.

Although Council leaders are supporting the bill, it's still unclear where Mayor Nutter stands. Green's legislation differs in some respects from an outline Nutter laid out earlier this week of what matters would need to be included for any legislation that he would support.

Here's some of what Green's bill calls for:

*Abolishing the BRT and replacing it with two new entities, the Office of Property Assessment, which would make property assessments beginning in 2011, and the Board of Property Assessment Appeals.

*The Office of Property Assessment would be headed by a Chief Assessment Officer, who must be a certified assessor or appraiser, and who will be appointed to a four-year term by the mayor and subject to Council approval. The chief assessment officer would establish rules and regulations for the property assessment process.

*The Board of Property Appeals would begin hearing appeals of property assessments in 2011. A seven-member nominating panel would be created to put forward three names for each board opening. The panel would include one appointee each of the City Council president, the mayor, the Greater Philadelphia Association of Realtors, the local chapter of the Assessors' Association of Pennsylvania, the Building Industry Association of Pennyslvania, the Housing Association of Delaware Valley and the Philadelphia Bar Association. The board members, all required to be city residents, would be appointed to five-year terms. Of the board members, two must have 10 or more years experience as certified real estate assessors; two must have at least 10 years' experience as attorneys with residential or commercial valuation expertise, and one must be a homeowners or commercial property owner in Philadelphia.

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