Is Mayor Nutter hiding a future tax increase in the budget?

Is Brett Mandel the dumbest man in Philadelphia?

Well, Ben Waxman thinks so. Ben has a very low opinion of Mandel after reading the former Controller candidate’s recent op-ed in the Inquirer. Mandel argued that Mayor Nutter is “planning a backdoor, long-term tax increase.” The property tax hike the city passed last year is supposed to be temporary. But the mayor’s financial plan doesn’t include any decrease in revenues: It projects $489 million in real estate taxes this fiscal year, $487 million next year, and $492 million the year after that.

One explanation for this, Mandel argues, is that the mayor is anticipating collecting more property tax revenue through property re-assessments – the ongoing effort of the city to value its property correctly. That effort has often been advertised as “revenue neutral,” which is to say the city will collect the same total amount in property taxes before and after the change – it will just value its properties correctly.

Ben’s objection? This information is in the five-year plan. It’s right there for anyone to see!

On this week’s It’s Our Money podcast, Ben complains to Doron Taussig about Brett’s alleged idiocy, and Brett drops by to defend his honor.

Animation debate between Nutter and Mandel

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