IF CITY COUNCIL provides relief to homeowners who could be hit hard under a new property-tax system based on market values, its members don't want to be dubbed the "bad guys" for increasing the tax rate.
That's why some members are peeved that the Nutter administration has said the property-tax rate could be as low as 1.25 percent under the Actual Value Initiative, despite the existence of a homestead exemption that would require the rate to be higher.
"You come up with this 1.25 rate, and anything that's done to protect residents, that rate goes up . . . it will appear that Council is increasing the rate from 1.25 upwards," said Council President Darrell Clarke, who questioned the administration at a committee hearing Wednesday. "All of a sudden Council is the bad guy, and I really take issue with that."