CHCA to hold second AVI information session

The Chestnut Hill Community Association (CHCA) will be hosting another information forum on the city’s Actual Value Initiative (AVI), this time with representatives from the Office of Property Assessment (OPA). The event will take place at the Norwood-Fontbonne Academy next Tuesday, Feb. 12 at 7 p.m.

The meeting will feature three speakers. Representing OPA, the agency responsible for tax assesments, will be Richie McKeithen, chief assessment officer, and Marisa Waxman, deputy administrator for assessment of programs and policy. A representative from the Mayor’s Office will also be present.

“It’s not going to bet set up as a panel with different views and opinions. This going to be, ‘Here it is.’,” said CHCA Board President Brien Tilley.

Each speaker will have 30 minutes to talk about what AVI is and why the city has deemed it necessary to reform the its property tax system, what exactly it is OPA intends to present to City Council for a vote in the spring and how AVI will be implemented. There will also be information presented about what policies will be in place for an appeals process should residents wish to dispute their assessments.

Residents, many of whom are concerned their property taxes will increase as a result of the AVI initiaitive, will have an hour to 90 minutes to ask questions.

CHCA first brought the topic of AVI to the forefront of the community’s attention by hosting City Controller Alan Butkovitz at its July Board of Directors meeting. In November, CHCA held its first panel discussion on the subject. OPA was invited to attend, but the debate-like setting did not gain the approval of Mayor Nutter’s office.

At that event “it was pretty clear that our audience felt that it was really critical to speak to the Office of Property Assessment”, said Tilley. Residents wanted specific answers from OPA and didn’t have them, he noted.

CHCA heard their concerns and decided to put together a follow-up session specific to OPA and the questions residents had about AVI implementation, market value and how it is established, he noted.

“Now we have these people and its a good time to discuss this while its pretty mature,” Tilley stated.

On Feb. 15, the city will begin mailing out Actual Value assessments to all property owners.

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