PICA questions Nutter's property-tax projections

The chairman of the city's fiscal watchdog yesterday questioned the property-tax projections in Mayor Nutter's five-year financial plan, which assumes that tax revenues would remain the same even after a temporary increase expired.

A two-year hike of 10 percent was supposed to end after homeowners got their 2012 tax bill.

"The revenue estimates in the proposed plan are not based on currently proposed rates as set forth in the Real Estate tax rate bill approved by City Council last year," Sam Katz, chairman of the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority, wrote in a letter to Nutter and City Council.

Katz asked for more details on the city's property-tax-revenue assumptions after an expected conversion next year to market-rate valuations.

City Finance Director Rob Dubow said he would work to provide PICA with what it needed, although he said it was tricky because the valuations aren't finished yet.

Dubow said the administration was not trying to hide a tax increase in the five-year plan, but was expecting that having accurate assessments for the first time in years would bring in more revenue.