No extra property taxes for schools in Nutter proposal
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter is planning to bring in the same property-tax revenue in 2014 as in 2013.
Earlier this year, critics lambasted Nutter's budget plan, known as the Actual Value Initiative, as a back-door tax hike. That's because he wanted to raise more money from property taxes after implementing AVI, which would reassess all properties in Philadelphia, than beforehand. Council ultimately delayed AVI.
Nutter's proposal precludes raising more property taxes for the cash-strapped schools.
"Obviously I'm well aware — we are very well aware — of the serious financial condition of the school district," said Nutter. "But the budget I introduced, I expect we'll adhere to."
Nutter said the city is almost finished reassessing every property in Philadelphia. But that doesn't mean AVI is a done deal. Council still needs to approve it.
Nutter estimated the property-tax rate under AVI would be 1.3 percent to 1.4 percent.
Councilman Jim Kenney, for one, said he wouldn't vote for that rate.
"We've raised taxes for the last three years," Kenney said.
Nutter reiterated that the property-tax system must change.
"For decades, our system of assessing property in Philadelphia has been completely broken," he said. "Properties of similar size, location, age or condition had wildly different assessments."