Philadelphia City Council has settled on a budget compromise. It provides less than half of the extra money Mayor Michael Nutter and School District requested.
Instead of re-assessing all properties and raising an extra $94 million, the deal pushes off the Actual Value Initiative (AVI) for a year. Using current assessments, property taxes would be hiked $20 million and the use and occupancy tax raised by $20 million. Councilman Bill Green says it’s a deal council could approve and guarantees the controversial tax change will be implemented, just not now.”We have found a way to guarantee the mayor that we are moving to AVI next year by building it into the law and hopefully the administration will be pleased with this result,” said Green.Councilman Curtis Jones is disappointed his colleagues could agree only to send $40 million more to the schools.”I’m deeply concerned about the amounts not being sufficient to deal with some of the requests from the school board, particularly some of the labor issues that are faced,” said Jones. “We’re talking about Philadelphians who are in peril of losing their jobs.”City Finance Director Rob Dubow says the Nutter administration is not sold on the plan.”We’re hoping to see changes in the amount the school district gets, we’d like to see AVI start this year we’d like to see amendments to restore some of the things that were changed,” said Dubow.Given how much negotiating it took to broker this deal, which was approved in committee by voice vote, it doesn’t appear any major shift back to AVI is going to happen within a week.