House Bill 1644 returns levels to pre-AVI amounts

HARRISBURG (Dec. 11, 2013) – State Sen. Larry Farnese (D-Phila.) today announced that House Bill (HB) 1644 passed the full Pennsylvania Senate by a vote of 49 to 0 and will return owner-occupied assessments to pre-Actual Value Initiative (AVI) levels once it’s signed into law.

“Last year I worked hard to pass legislation that reduced assessments for owner occupied properties by 50 percent,” said Farnese. “But then came AVI, and the entire reduction was removed because the city changed its tax formula. Today, I’m happy to say that the residents of Philadelphia’s Center City District, and other Business Improvement Districts, can once again receive a 50 percent discount in their assessment because we’ve passed House Bill 1644. I’d also like to thank Rep. John Taylor (R-Phila.) for his hard work and leadership on this issue because without him we would not have been able to send this bill to the governor for his approval.”

For the past several years, Sen. Farnese has advocated for fair assessments throughout the commonwealth. He led the fight in the General Assembly to pass legislation authorizing legislation that allowed Business Improvement Districts to give a 50 percent reduction in assessments to owner-occupied property owners. But, because the proportional share of residential properties increased under the City of Philadelphia’s recently implemented AVI, his previous legislation needed to be revised to correspond with the City of Philadelphia’s new tax code.

HB 1644 reinstates the reduction for owner-occupied properties prior to pre-AVI levels by amending the Municipal Authorities Act to provide an additional option for calculating special assessments by a municipal authority. The legislation defines a municipal authority as any entity that provides business improvements and administrative services. The legislation, which applies statewide, is designed to specifically address the needs of Philadelphia’s Center City District.

Senator Larry Farnese was first elected to the Senate in 2008 to represent Pennsylvania’s First Senatorial District which contains some of Philadelphia’s most unique and vibrant neighborhoods from Port Richmond on the Delaware River to Fairmount Park on the Schuylkill River and South Philadelphia, Center City, the Navy Yard, Philadelphia International Airport. Senator Farnese serves as the Democratic Chair of the Communications and Technology Committee. He is also a member of the Appropriations Committee, Banking and Insurance Committee, and the Judiciary Committee. His District Office is located at 1802 S. Broad Street in Philadelphia, PA (ph: 215-952-3121) and his Harrisburg Office is located at 543 Main Capitol in Harrisburg, PA (ph: 717-787-5662). More information about the Senator and his initiatives is available at



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