This afternoon City Council will continue its budget hearings, wrestling with 16 bills that include the much-talked about Actual Value Initiative for property tax assessment and how much the city will contribute to the School District.
AVI and the school budget have been all over the news, and the Committee of Seventy’s ever-useful How Philly Works series offers a primer on the issues: “The Philadelphia Idiot’s Guide to Property Taxes and the City Schools.” The debate is high-stakes, as they explain: What Council decides impacts everyone who owns and pays taxes on property in Philly — and even people who rent here (if your landlord’s property taxes go up, so will your rent).
The decision will also be the first major test of new Philadelphia City Council President Darrell Clarke’s leadership. Is he able to broker a compromise among his 16 colleagues? Can he do it in time for the start of the next fiscal year on July 1? How forcefully will he inject his own ideas into the decision-making process? So if you want a little help making sense of this year’s budget debate, if you are curious about what a “homestead exemption” is, or just feel confused about how the Business Use and Occupancy Tax could help out the schools, this edition of How Philly Works is for you.
Starting at 3pm you can watch the hearings online or on Channel 64. Pop some popcorn: It could be a very long night.