"Is it fair to make thousands of homeowners wait for a tax decrease? No. They’ve shouldered an unfair burden for years," Goode said. "I’ll be voting for a tax cut for those homeowners. They deserve it, fair and square, right now."
Those facing the biggest tax increases are generally in newly popular neighborhoods like the Graduate Hospital area, where home values have shot up but taxes have remained low.
Goode said Council members had shown little concern over the years about those homeowners who were overassessed and paying too much.
"Now they seem to be ultra-concerned about those that have been underassessed," he said. "The question is: Are they going to give the money back they didn’t pay?"
Green has been focused for weeks on the administration’s math, trying to determine where the millage, or tax, rate would be set under the Actual Value Initiative (AVI).
Under different scenarios, he said Thursday, the rate could be somewhere between 1.4 and 1.7 percent of a home’s actual market value.
"People are not prepared for this because there has not been public disclosure and preparation for what the millage rate is going to be," he said.
Green asked that Council consider the middle-class homeowner who is facing an increase of a few hundred dollars a month but wouldn’t qualify for some of the relief measures Council is contemplating.
"For people on the edge, people who reached to buy their house, it could mean the difference between keeping their house or not," Green said.
Councilman James F. Kenney said there are about 30,000 homes facing tax increases on the order of 100 to 400 percent, many in gentrified neighborhoods that exploded with construction after the city began offering tax abatements more than a decade ago.
Back in 1988, he said, then-State Sen. Vincent J. Fumo pushed through a constitutional amendment allowing Philadelphia to provide tax relief to longtime residents living in gentrifying neighborhoods. That relief was never instituted.
"For one reason or another over the 24 years, we’ve not been able to do it," Kenney said. "The one good thing about AVI is it’s forced us to actually offer that long-term resident tax relief — potentially."
Council President Darrell L. Clarke introduced four bills Thursday as backups to the administration’s budget, which is counting on raising an extra $94 million for the schools in the changeover to AVI.
Clarke’s bills would raise less money for the schools — as much as $85 million — through either property taxes or business use and occupancy taxes.
He introduced two versions of each of two bills — one if AVI is implemented and one if AVI is not.
"We’re just putting some things in the hopper in case we need it," he said.
Asked why he set his bills to raise less than the $94 million the mayor is seeking for the schools, he said, "It’s rare that individuals get what they ask for."
"At some point Council has to look at the impact on citizens … and its impact on individuals’ tax bills," Clarke said. "It may be higher, it may be lower, but this is a starting point."
Contact staff writer Troy Graham at 215-854-2730 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow on Twitter @troyjgraham.