Little consensus in Philly Council so far on AVI relief

Philadelphia City Council has no shortage of ideas about how to improve Mayor Michael Nutter’s Actual Value Initiative (AVI), a move to new property-tax assessments based on market values. Lawmakers have penned dozens of bills and resolutions dealing with the reassessment.

One proposal would give a property-tax break to some longtime homeowners. Another would slowly phase in the new property-tax assessments over several years.

Councilman Bobby Henon said there isn’t consensus yet on many of the proposals. He believes that lawmakers first need more information from Nutter’s aides about how they came up with the new assessments. But so far, Henon said, they’ve refused.

“That’s not acceptable for a citywide policy and such a dramatic change of our reassessment process,” he said.

The Nutter administration said it will give Council more information soon.

Council, which must pass a budget by June 30, is holding a hearing Tuesday on several proposals involving the reassessment.

Council President Darrell Clarke, who helped build consensus around the city budget last year, expects to have an agreement on something within the next month or so.

“There’s one thing that always builds consensus, and it’s called time,” Clarke said. “We have a finite time frame with respects to closing our budget process that will obviously include the implementation of AVI.”

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