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Dear Neighbor,

Sen. FarneseIt’s a pleasure to share another edition of the First District Connection with you.

Today I’d like to give you an:

  • Actual Value Initiative legislative update;
  • Help you save money on your property taxes;
  • Tell you about the Maternity Care Coalition’s Children’s Insurance Program; and
  • Announce Peace Day Philly 2012.

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.

Staying Connected,
Sen. Larry Farnese

Actual Value Initiative Legislative Update

CapitolWhen the Mayor’s Actual Value initiative (AVI) was originally proposed, it was billed as a fair and transparent way to fix the City’s broken property tax assessment system. Then on March 8th, the City announced it was seeking an additional $94 million in new revenue from AVI to fund the School District of Philadelphia. I was disappointed by the Mayor’s change of direction so, as I shared with you a few District Connections ago, I began drafting legislation to get AVI back on course.

My legislation sought to ensure that AVI remained fair by requiring the reassessment to be revenue neutral, a requirement that exists in counties and school districts throughout Pennsylvania. I also wanted to make sure that AVI and funding for the School District were voted on as separate issues, each with its own consideration and public vetting.

After several months of discussions and lots of negotiations, City Council President Clarke, City Council leadership and I announced that Council will advance local legislation to promote fairness and honesty in AVI, and give needed funds – in an accountable way – to the School District. Council’s plan will explore options for funding schools other than property taxes, better address the impacts of AVI, and ensure that AVI and school district funding are considered and voted on separately.

I’ve announced to Senate leadership that I’m withdrawing my amendment to Senate Bill 1303 because it has already accomplished what it was designed to do. I believe the City is now back on a better course in its pursuit of fair property assessments – a course I began advocating for more than three months ago.

I know AVI is a complicated issue, so I promise to keep you up to date on its implementation, and I encourage you to take advantage of the Homestead Exemption. Please see the next story so you can save on your property taxes next year.

Saving Money On Your Property Taxes

Did you know that you could save money on your real estate taxes? As soon as legislation is passed in Harrisburg, the City of Philadelphia will offer a Homestead Exemption. This means, that you can qualify to reduce your tax bill. There are no age or income restrictions, and to be eligible, you must own your own home and live in it. Please make sure you complete your application by July 31, 2012.

When you receive your home assessment in the fall, after the citywide reassessment has been completed, you will receive notification of whether you have qualified and the amount of the exemption. For a brochure or an application, click here.

Insurance Help For Families And Children

Maternity Care Coalition (MCC)The Maternity Care Coalition (MCC) is excited to announce its Children’s Insurance Program, which has set a goal to enroll 2,000 uninsured children in Medicaid/Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in Philadelphia, Montgomery and Delaware counties. MCC helps families by:

  • Screening families for health insurance eligibility;
  • Assisting with applications, information gathering and collecting required documentation; and
  • Submitting and tracking Medicaid/CHIP applications.

For more information or questions about the program contact Barbara Hadley at 267-773-5107 or

Peace Day Philly 2012Peace Day Philly 2012 Launch Event

Get involved in Peace Day Philly 2012, an observation of the United Nations’ International Day of Peace. This day of ceasefire and non-violence is celebrated worldwide on September 21. To learn more about the celebration, join your fellow Philadelphians on Wednesday, June 20, 2012, at 1:30 p.m. at the Ethical Humanist Society of Philadelphia (1906 S. Rittenhouse Square) or by visiting




Maternity Care Coalition (MCC) Letter Brochure Application Tax Savings are Knocking.