Philly’s property tax plan may cause confusion

Philadelphia officials are worried about confusion over property taxes.  

Mayor Michael Nutter says even when residents receive their new assessments in February, they won’t know the amount of their property tax because the assessment is only part of the puzzle.

“That won’t be due for a year and we will not have set a tax rate yet, so there’s no way for that person to actually calculate what their bill is going to be,” Nutter said Friday.

Coming up with the calculation will be the job of City Council, who will set the percentage of the actual value of the property to be used in figuring the real estate tax. In order to change the value, legislation must be passed on the state level.  And Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams says lawmakers are working on their part.

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“Otherwise households will find tax bills that they cannot afford in front of them and I think everyone — if you are elected in Council or elected in Harrisburg — we don’t want to face a voter who faces an increased tax bill just because we didn’t reduce the millage rate,” said Williams, D-Philadelphia.

The state’s portion of the work should be done by the fall. City Council is likely to set the tax percentage rate along with budget negotiations in the spring.

Reassessing all properties to reflect market values is a key part of Nutter’s Actual Value Initiative. 

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