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New Values

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NEWS
April 9, 2012 | By Rob Dubow
By Rob Dubow Fair. Accurate. Understandable. None of these words describe the city's current property assessment system. The Actual Value Initiative, which is now being implemented by the city's Office of Property Assessment, will change that. Is it fair that identical houses on the same block can have radically different values for tax purposes? No. AVI will fix that by making sure that all properties are assessed accurately so that similar houses will have similar values for tax purposes.
NEWS
October 28, 2009 | By Joseph Tanfani INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Philadelphia's new and supposedly improved property values, heralded as the solution to a broken tax system, are so filled with errors that it may take up to two years to get them right, according to the city budget director. Despite a $7 million computer system, payments to experts, and years of staff time, the proposed new assessments are nowhere near ready to go out on tax bills, said Stephen Agostini, who has been leading a review of the new numbers. Speaking at yesterday's City Council hearing on revamping Philadelphia's troubled Board of Revision of Taxes, Agostini could not say how much had been spent so far to fix the property-tax system.
NEWS
September 11, 2012
WHEN CITY Council does its own version of back-to-school this week, members will have to grapple with homework left over from last semester - a complicated math assignment called Actual Value Initiative (AVI), which is supposed to restore fairness to the city's property-tax system. AVI, which will tax properties based on more accurate assessments instead of the old way of taxing based on political favors or guessing, came close to being enacted in June. But Council ultimately balked at having to establish a tax rate without seeing the new values, which the Nutter administration hadn't finished.
NEWS
January 14, 2013 | By Maddie Hanna, Inquirer Staff Writer
Jeanne Caruso believes her house, at just over 1,000 square feet, is among the smaller in the Erlton section of Cherry Hill. She had questions when its assessed value jumped from $93,300 to $170,400 in the latest revaluation, which is estimated to raise her property taxes by more than $400. "It's a lot of taxes for a small house," Caruso said Thursday evening at Croft Farm, where residents were arriving in a steady stream for one-on-one meetings with representatives of the company that performed the revaluation.
NEWS
April 4, 2013
NOW THAT WE are over the initial shock of opening those envelopes with new property values, it's time to take stock of how the AVI reassessment process has gone. The short, and probably surprising, answer is: Not so bad. People may not like the results - some are yelling loudly about higher taxes on thousands of properties - but, overall, AVI has produced values much more in line with reality, especially compared with the Fantasy Land values we had before. (And keep in mind, the many people who will now actually be paying less aren't doing much screaming.)
ENTERTAINMENT
January 10, 2015 | By Inga Saffron, Inquirer Architecture Critic
Philadelphia's rowhouse streets, and even many of its commercial ones, follow a certain predictable rhythm. Redbrick building follows redbrick building. Windows and doors are usually flush with the facades. Buildings may sport finer or worse details than others, but this is not a city of statement architecture and icons. The nature of the grid makes it challenging for a building to stand out. But not impossible. Take a stroll along 10th Street between Sansom and Walnut, and you'll encounter a small, but profound, aberration, a wrinkle in the smooth urban canvas.
NEWS
September 12, 1997 | By Steve Ritea, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
Got a date with Floriana Bloss? A word of advice: She doesn't like to be stood up. The chairwoman of the Montgomery County Board of Assessment Appeals says her schedule is so filled these days, you're likely to get only one shot. Best take it. As the board struggles to accommodate thousands of residents upset about their new property assessments, Bloss says those who ask for a hearing and then fail to show up probably will not get a second chance this year. All final assessments must be delivered to the county's municipalities, school districts and other taxing authorities by Nov. 15. And the board still has about 8,000 appeals to hear before its Oct. 31 deadline, she said.
NEWS
July 14, 2012 | By Troy Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
The City of Philadelphia plans to mail out results of a citywide reassessment of every taxable property on Feb. 15 - finally giving owners an idea of what it truly thinks their properties are worth. The city plans to switch next year to a system that assesses and taxes properties based on actual market value. The city's determination of a property's true worth is key to the process, but City Council must still set the millage, or tax rate, next spring for the 2014 fiscal year.
NEWS
May 21, 2014 | By Claudia Vargas, Inquirer Staff Writer
The man who led the charge in Mayor Nutter's property-tax reform effort will step down next month, Nutter said Monday. Richie McKeithen, head of the Office of Property Assessment since its creation in 2010, will return to Richmond, Va., to be with his family full-time, and become chief assessment officer in nearby Petersburg. "He has, without question, been a constant professional throughout a very challenging citywide property reassessment process," Nutter said. McKeithen called his time in office a "great experience.
NEWS
January 29, 1997 | By Nancy Petersen, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
Chester County officials said yesterday that the results of the first county-wide real estate assessment in more than 20 years will start reaching property owners by the middle of next month. When they open these bills, many of the property owners will most likely be stunned at what greets them. Not only have many properties soared in value, but the commissioners voted yesterday to use a property's fair market value as the basis for taxation. That figure will replace the current formula that makes the assessment one-third of the appraised value in 1972, the last year a reassessment was conducted.
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NEWS
April 20, 2016
Donald Trump made an unfortunate slip-of-the-tongue while campaigning in Buffalo on Monday evening at his final rally before Tuesday's big-prize primary. Trump was about to deliver prepared remarks lauding New York values when he mistakenly mentioned the name of a popular convenience store chain in place of 9/11. "It's very close to my heart because I was down there, and I watched our police and our firemen down at 7-Eleven, down at the World Trade Center right after it came down, and I saw the greatest people I've ever seen in action," Trump told the crowd.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 10, 2015 | By Inga Saffron, Inquirer Architecture Critic
Philadelphia's rowhouse streets, and even many of its commercial ones, follow a certain predictable rhythm. Redbrick building follows redbrick building. Windows and doors are usually flush with the facades. Buildings may sport finer or worse details than others, but this is not a city of statement architecture and icons. The nature of the grid makes it challenging for a building to stand out. But not impossible. Take a stroll along 10th Street between Sansom and Walnut, and you'll encounter a small, but profound, aberration, a wrinkle in the smooth urban canvas.
NEWS
May 21, 2014 | By Claudia Vargas, Inquirer Staff Writer
The man who led the charge in Mayor Nutter's property-tax reform effort will step down next month, Nutter said Monday. Richie McKeithen, head of the Office of Property Assessment since its creation in 2010, will return to Richmond, Va., to be with his family full-time, and become chief assessment officer in nearby Petersburg. "He has, without question, been a constant professional throughout a very challenging citywide property reassessment process," Nutter said. McKeithen called his time in office a "great experience.
NEWS
May 28, 2013
WE COUNT on our leaders to know the difference between right and wrong. But sometimes we wonder. Take, for example, Mark Squilla, who authored a bill just passed by City Council that would allow homeowners protesting their new property values to pay taxes based on the old system. He justified the bill by saying it was unfair to make people pay based on "incorrect" numbers that the Actual Value Initiative produced. We can only assume that Squilla's contention that AVI numbers are not correct is based on complaints from some of his constituents - whose district has seen some of the biggest changes under AVI. So, he's allowing them to choose which number is more "correct" if they appeal their property tax: the old assessment based on the corrupted, outlawed system, or the new assessment, based on the city's efforts to get it right.
NEWS
April 4, 2013
NOW THAT WE are over the initial shock of opening those envelopes with new property values, it's time to take stock of how the AVI reassessment process has gone. The short, and probably surprising, answer is: Not so bad. People may not like the results - some are yelling loudly about higher taxes on thousands of properties - but, overall, AVI has produced values much more in line with reality, especially compared with the Fantasy Land values we had before. (And keep in mind, the many people who will now actually be paying less aren't doing much screaming.)
NEWS
February 25, 2013 | By Troy Graham and Dylan Purcell, Inquirer Staff Writers
Philadelphia's chief assessor, Richie McKeithen, says that what the city has done in the last two years - reassess 579,000 parcels, starting nearly from scratch - is unprecedented. And while he acknowledged that the numbers in the first year are going to have glitches, he asserted that the new values that began arriving in every property owner's mailbox last week were comfortably within industry standards. "You do a reassessment and you do the tweaks as time goes on," he said.
NEWS
February 20, 2013 | By Troy Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
City residents have had the long weekend to absorb and ponder the results of a citywide reassessment, and the first reviews from areas facing some of the biggest tax increases have been mixed. Matt Ruben, president of Northern Liberties Neighbors Association, on Monday put property owners in his area into three categories by reaction to the new numbers: Those who saw their assessments rise but think they are "in the ballpark. " Those who believe that their assessments are fair but that the likely tax increase will be "ruinous.
NEWS
January 14, 2013 | By Maddie Hanna, Inquirer Staff Writer
Jeanne Caruso believes her house, at just over 1,000 square feet, is among the smaller in the Erlton section of Cherry Hill. She had questions when its assessed value jumped from $93,300 to $170,400 in the latest revaluation, which is estimated to raise her property taxes by more than $400. "It's a lot of taxes for a small house," Caruso said Thursday evening at Croft Farm, where residents were arriving in a steady stream for one-on-one meetings with representatives of the company that performed the revaluation.
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