If you’re still befuddled, the city wants to clear up a few things about the property assessments that were sent out this month under the city’s new Actual Value Initiative. You can get all your questions answered – well, some, anyway – by attending one of three public meetings scheduled throughout the city this week.
Luckily, you won’t have to go far. One is on Saturday March 9 at Neumann-Goretti, 11th and Moore streets, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Newsworks reports that Mayor Nutter has gotten wind of the griping and is standing his ground.
Nutter is defending the assessments, especially after groups including the city controller contend they could be off by 30 or 40 percent in some cases.
“I’m not an expert, but I know enough to know that we have real experts in house that do this work that can explain what the methodology was,” said Nutter. “I think, again, as I am hearing some of these reports folks are taking samples they are picking and choosing they might not have as long a time frame as the Office of Property Assessment has done.”
Of course, no one at the meeting will actually be able to tell you what your taxes are going to be because City Council still hasn’t set the tax rate, which could be as high as 1.4 percent of value. Play with this nifty calculator to see what you might have to pay.
But it all depends on whether Council passes any measures to lower taxes for some people, like that homestead exemption. Anything that lowers taxes for a group of people – i.e., homeowners, the elderly, long-term residents, etc. – then the overall tax rate goes up.
That means renters, by the way, are probably going to get screwed because landlords will try to pass along their tax increases to tenants. And those properties won’t be eligible for the homestead exemption. Read this story for some more info on that aspect of the debate.