Corbett signs bill to save city from property-tax appeals

Posted: July 06, 2012

GOV. CORBETT signed into law Thursday a bill that will allow the city to put off a controversial property-tax overhaul for a year without the risk of being flooded with costly appeals.

Once City Council decided to delay Mayor Nutter's plan to move the city to a new property-tax system based on market values known as the Actual Value Initiative (AVI), Council sought legislative aid from state lawmakers. A ruling by the State Tax Equalization Board (STEB) found that the city's assessments are way off, and the Nutter administration warned that maintaining the current tax system could mean up to $100 million in losses from appeals because of widespread problems in property assessments.

Under the legislation worked on by state Sen. Anthony Williams and state Rep. John Taylor, the current assessment and tax system will remain in place for a year without risk of appeals.

The law also authorizes for the first time a homestead exemption, which would provide homeowners relief when the city moves to AVI by lowering a property's taxable value by an amount that hasn't been determined.

Contact Jan Ransom at 215-854-5218 or Ransomj@phillynews.com, or follow on Twitter @Jan_Ransom. Read her blog, PhillyClout.com.

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