Philadelphia is trying to talk directly to residents about the citywide overhaul of property taxes. Question and answer sessions are starting Thursday.
To help residents understand the new property assessments that were mailed last month, there will be sessions throughout the city as well as some telephone town halls.
Mayor Michael Nutter says the goal is to ease the transition to property taxes based on current market values.
“Making sure that people just understand the piece of paper that was delivered to their home and what is this really about and what does it mean, with still a couple of moving parts the biggest of which is the tax rate,” said Nutter. “We deserve to give the people an extraordinary level of outreach.”
Nutter is defending the assessments, especially after groups including the city controller contend they could be off by 30 or 40 percent in some cases.
“I’m not an expert, but I know enough to know that we have real experts in house that do this work that can explain what the methodology was,” said Nutter. “I think, again, as I am hearing some of these reports folks are taking samples they are picking and choosing they might not have as long a time frame as the Office of Property Assessment has done.”
Already, about 6,000 people are appealing their new property assessments.
Here is a list of the meeting locations and times scheduled so far:
March 7th at the American Heritage Federal Credit Union, 2060 Red Lion Road, 6 to 9 p.m.
March 7th at the Joseph Coleman Library, 68 West Chelten Avenue, 6 to 9 p.m.
March 9th at Saints John Neumann and Marie Goretti Catholic High School, 1736 South 10th Street, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.