Saturday, December 20, 2014

With AVI debate delayed, city's property tax unfairness continues

Many homeowners were thrilled when Council decided to delay revamping the property-tax system. But for many others, the delay means they're going to be overpaying for another year.

With AVI debate delayed, city's property tax unfairness continues

Council members decided to delay the switch to a new property-tax system in part because the city wouldn´t have finished reassessing all properties in Philadelphia until this fall. They thought it was too risky to move forward without that information.
Council members decided to delay the switch to a new property-tax system in part because the city wouldn't have finished reassessing all properties in Philadelphia until this fall. They thought it was too risky to move forward without that information.

Many homeowners were thrilled when Council decided to delay revamping the property-tax system. But for many others, the delay means they're going to be overpaying for another year.

Check out the article about the topic, which appeared in the Daily News, below. 

When City Council members were considering Mayor Nutter's Actual Value Initiative (AVI), which sought to fix the city's broken property-tax system, they worried about the losers who'd be hit with big tax hikes.

But Council's vote last month to delay AVI for a year just replaces one set of losers with another one. Because the city's current assessments are inaccurate, some homeowners and businesses are overpaying in property taxes while others are underpaying. Instead of possibly getting a lower tax bill, people who are overpaying are getting a tax hike for the third year in a row.

Kevin Gillen, vice president of financial-consulting firm Econsult, estimated that 262,000 households in Philadelphia are relatively overassessed, while 188,000 are relatively underassessed. Econsult worked as Council's consultant on AVI.

Under AVI, the city wouldn't have finished reassessing all properties in Philadelphia until this fall, and Council thought it was too risky to approve the overhaul without that data.

Community leaders say many people in overassessed properties don't know they're being screwed by the status quo.

Shannon Chanty Nuon bought a house this year in Point Breeze for $13,000. But according to the city, its "market value" is $22,000. The house's property taxes for 2012 were about $660.

Continue reading the story.

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Every year, city government spends slightly more than $4 billion. Where does all that money come from? More importantly, where does it go? Are we getting the most bang for our tax buck? “It's Our Money” is a joint project between Philadelphia Daily News and WHYY, funded by the William Penn Foundation, designed to answer these questions.

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