Nutter, council team up to overhaul BRT

    The agency is under new scrutiny after a series of newspaper articles revealed decades of patronage and corruption.

    Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter says change needs to take place at the city agency that determines property tax assessments. The agency is under new scrutiny after a series of newspaper articles revealed decades of patronage and corruption.

    Listen:
    [audio: 090505spbrt.mp3]

    The series of Inquirer articles critical of the Board of Revision of Taxes, often referred to as the BRT, come at a time when the agency just released property re-assessments, and Mayor Nutter wants to raise real estate taxes to plug a gaping budget hole.

    Nutter says he’s not yet sure whether the tax hikes will be based on the new assessments, but the BRT needs reform.

    Nutter: It’s very clear to me that some amount of change, significant change, transformational change needs to take place. But we need to make sure we do it well and do it right before we take any action.

    Legislation to reform the BRT is expected to be introduced in City Council this week. The newspaper articles exposed an agency full of patronage, where the well-heeled and well-connected get breaks on their property taxes and where multiple efforts to reform the institution have failed.

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