In a previous edition of District Connection I promised to keep you updated about the City’s Actual Value Initiative (AVI), an effort to fully reassess Philadelphia’s more than 577,000 properties, so people in similar houses and neighborhoods would pay similar property taxes.
Last week I held a press conference at my District Office with Sen. Stack; Reps. Boyle, Brownlee, Donatucci, O’Brien and Youngblood; Councilmen Squilla and Green; and community leaders Brett Mandel and Jeff Hornstein. Together, we called on the Mayor to implement a fairer program and to explore better funding alternatives for the School District. I am proud of this diverse group and pleased that our efforts are also being supported by Sens. Kitchen and Washington.
AVI, as it stands right now, is being implemented by the Mayor without knowing the actual value of our properties. That’s not fair, and if nothing is done, AVI will become a $94 million, back-door tax increase. I also think that the Mayor’s approach should separately address the funding needs of the School District in an honest discussion that considers all of our options. So, I’m planning to amend Senate Bill 1303, a bill that would allow the City to adjust its state-mandated tax rates, to make sure the reassessments are truly revenue neutral for this upcoming tax year. And I also plan to introduce legislation that would allow City Council, if it chooses, to delay AVI for one year or to fund schools through other taxing alternatives.
In the coming weeks, as AVI and budget process continues to evolve, I’ll be sure to keep you updated. As always, thank you for your support and please don’t hesitate to contact me or my staff if we can be of any assistance.
Sen. Larry Farnese