The city’s current tax system is so broken it could mean that the city and school district owe $41 million to property owners for its inaccuracy, reports the Inquirer. Since the State Tax Equalization Board (STEB) found that Philadelphia’s properties were assessed at around 18% of their value – as opposed to the 32% the city has claimed – 2,000 property owners have appealed their assessments and the city has countered. STEB reset the percentage to 24.8%, but even then the appeals could cost the city and school district about $41 million. The city’s planned move to actual value assessment would get rid of this kind of problem.
Philadelphia is unhealthy. The Daily News unpacks the findings of a University of Wisconsin/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation public health study, which found Philadelphia as the state’s least healthy county for the third year running. Poverty, public safety, and lack of access to healthy food are leading reasons for Philly’s low ranking. Carolyn Cannuscio, a professor at Penn’s School of Medicine, put it bluntly: “When people are afraid of being shot, they aren’t actively concerned about how to curb their risk for diabetes.”
The city’s 3-1-1 system will soon have a mobile app, the Daily News reports. Chief Innovation Officer Adel Ebeid says a developer will be selected at the end of the month to build an app that will let residents to report an issue and send along a photo. The app’s anticipated cost is about $20,000.
Pennsylvania has outpaced New Jersey as the nation’s second biggest gambling market, according to an Associated Press report. The combined revenue from the slot machines and table games keeps climbing, which the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board sees as a demonstration that the market isn’t saturated yet. For us that probably means that it’s a matter of time before Philly sees a new bidding process (and fight) over a second casino in the city.
Swann Fountain is back for the season. Celebrate spring with an evening of outdoor Tango around the fountain. The Fairmount Park Art Association, Urban Tango, and Oscuro Quintet will host the event from 5:30-7:30pm tomorrow evening. There will be free lessons, open dancing and a competition for non-professional dancers. The evening is free and prizes are promised for the best dancers.
The Buzz is Eyes on the Street’s morning news digest. Have a tip? Send it along.