The Spruce Hill Community Association (SHCA) is appealing to the City Council to delay the implementation of the controversial property tax assessment overhaul, the Actual Value Initiative (AVI), which could help bail out the city beleaguered school district by increasing taxes on long under-valued properties. Residents in neighborhoods where property values have far outpaced the city’s valuation could see their property tax bills double, triple or even quadruple.
City Council is expected to consider AVI legislation at Thursday’s regularly scheduled meeting. The City Council has until July 1st to submit a new budget and tax rate. But the property assessments needed to implement the AVI have not been completed. That’s one of the reasons the SHCA is pressing for a delay.
In a letter sent to members today, SHCA President Ed Halligan urged the City Council to take more time to let residents prepare for what could be substantial changes to their tax bills. The extra time would also allow city assessors to do a thorough inventory and assessment of the city’s housing stock.
Several versions of the AVI have been floating around City Hall and it is unclear what the final version might look like. What does look certain is that a basic formula will hold: If your home has been assessed too low, your taxes will likely increase.
While homeowners would be hardest hit, many renters will probably not be immune from dramatic tax increases as property owners will likely look to pass on the added costs.
There are lots of resources available on the AVI and we will collect them when and if it’s passed. Meanwhile, here is a good primer on the AVI that Plan Philly put together a few weeks ago.
Below is a copy of the SHCA letter to Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell.
SHCA letter to Jannie Blackwell