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Philadelphia Sets AVI Property Tax Rate

by Tom Branham, Washington D.C., July 2013


After months of speculation, the Philadelphia City Council approved a 1.34% tax rate for 2014 property taxes. With the city's new Actual Value Initiative (AVI), the tax rate will be applied to 100% of assessed valuation, rather than an ever-changing common level ratio.


More Appeals Anticipated


More than 49,000 informal appeals were filed to the assessor following the Philadelphia's first citywide revaluation in many years. Now officials are bracing for an onslaught of formal appeals. The deadline to file a formal appeal to the Board of Revision of Taxes is October 7, 2013.


"That's where we're going to concentrate now, getting folks to understand what their rights are," explained Councilman James F. Kennedy. "The real tax relief will come there," he said.


Tweaking AVI


Even though the Actual Value Initiative is officially in place, City Council President Darrell Clarke says there's still more work to be done. One area of focus will be the standards used by the Office of Property Assessment.


“We want to make sure that those standards are clear and transparent. We want to make sure those standards make sense to the average citizen. We want to put in place certain measures to correct some of the assessments that are somewhat out of whack. So we will continue to work with AVI to get it to the place it needs to be, so everyone can feel comfortable with the implementation," Clarke said.


Officials admit that tweaking the AVI could take another one or two years.