March 4: Casino comment | Council seeks delinquency reform | recalibrating Philly’s tax landscape | PRA chief Covington out | municipal broadband in big cities

Good morning, Streeters. Here’s what’s making news this Monday morning:

Casino teams made their pitches last month and now it’s your turn to comment. Starting today the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board will accept online applications for public comment about the proposals at hearings on April 11 and 12, the Inquirer reports.

City Council is moving to overhaul the way the city goes after tax delinquent properties, reports PlanPhilly’s Jared Brey. At a Council Committee on Finance meeting Friday, Councilwoman María Quiñones-Sánchez and Councilman Bill Green offered amendments to a bill they introduced in early 2012. The new bill sets a strict timeline for tax foreclosure and would create a clear process for helping struggling homeowners enter into payment plans with the city tied to their income. If the bill passes delinquents will be given two past-due notices (60 days and 90 days after that) with information about payment plans, and after one year of non-payment the city would begin foreclosure proceedings. Green says he believes that the bill will actually lead to fewer tax foreclosures, clearly hopeful that people will either pay up or enter into fair payment agreements.

Will the Actual Value Initiative really lead to fair tax landscape in Philly? The Inquirer has a helpful refresher on the context of AVI, the city’s broken and unfair tax system, what shifting the city’s tax burden from wages and business to real estate means, and what business tax reforms could be ahead.

Ed Covington is no longer head of the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority. The Daily News reports that Covington and often clashed with the Nutter administration, which could have been the reason for his abrupt departure. The Redevelopment Authority’s board will consider who will serve PRA’s interim director at its next meeting on March 13.

Remember Wireless Philadelphia? The Atlantic Cities looks into why more big cities don’t have municipal broadband networks, and why municipal broadband is really only working in smaller cities: public policy, cost, scale, and infrastructure in bigger municipalities. “Comcast and AT&T don’t really care about Chattanooga… They care a lot about Philadelphia. That’s where they do their best business,” said Christopher Mitchell, who directs the Telecommunications as Commons Initiative and the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. 

The Buzz is Eyes on the Street’s morning news digest. Have a tip? Send it along.

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