Wednesday, March 30, 2011

PICA Calls the Mayor and City Council Out on Property Tax Estimates

On March 23rd, the Mayor and City Council publicly expressed a plan to hike assessments to raise property taxes. 

This plan demonstrated a fallacy. The fallacy is that new assessments cannot raise taxes by 10% when they are based on property values, which in fact have been declining throughout the Delaware Valley by over 15% in the 18 months.

Just when you thought nobody was watching, enter former Republican Mayoral candidate Sam Katz and the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority (PICA) board to the rescue...

The PICA Board,  Philadelphia's fiscal watchdog, sent a letter to Mayor Nutter today to question the property tax assumptions made in his budget.

As reported by the Inquirer, the current five-year plan doesn't sunset the two-year temporary tax increase enacted by Nutter and Council last year. Critics are calling it a backdoor tax hike, while the administration has framed this as simply a way to show an increase in property values.

The PICA letter is linked here.

  1. Do you think the PICA letter will have any effect?
  2. If it does, how will the city plug its deficit?
  3. If taxes are increased, will they be spent properly?
  4. If due taxes and fees are collected, would it have offset any proposed increase?

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