Philadelphia, June 20, 2013 – City Council on Thursday gave final approval to the $3.8 billion Operating Budget for Fiscal Year 2014. Council President Darrell L. Clarke hailed the collaboration between Administration officials and Council members and staff.
“I am pleased the Administration and Council arrived at agreement over the Actual Value Initiative, which brings overdue fairness to thousands of Philadelphia homeowners whose property values were overassessed,” Council President Darrell L. Clarke said. “However, many of us on Council remain concerned about the accuracy of the assessment process. We hope our legislation that would refine standards and increase transparency at the Office of Property Assessment will be signed by the Mayor and fully implemented by the Administration.”
Following a citywide reassessment of property values, Council lowered the property tax rate from 9.771 percent to 1.34 percent. Eligible homeowners may subtract $30,000 from the assessed value of their primary residence and apply the new rate upon application and approval for the Homestead Exemption.
Council on Thursday also approved measures that:
- allow qualifying homeowners who experience significant increases in property taxes to defer tax payments
- offer gentrification relief to longtime owner-occupants
President Clarke called on members of Council to participate in a real-time effort to monitor the implementation of property tax relief programs, the efficiency of the appeals process, and the performance of the Office of Property Assessment.
“The majority of homeowners will see tax relief under AVI, but only if they make an effort to find out what’s available to them,” Council President Clarke said. “I encourage all Philadelphia homeowners to contact the Office of Property Assessment or their district Council member to find out how to apply for relief options.”
Additional tax relief measures will be announced in the coming months.
Council already had approved a set of measures that would provide more than $1 billion to the School District of Philadelphia, which includes approximately $74.5 million in new revenue in response to a request from SDP for $60 million on top of the Administration’s original FY2014 proposed budget.
City Council also restored and added funding for a number of public safety, employment, anti-recidivism and community wellness programs.
“Council is pleased to replenish the resources of offices and departments tasked with ensuring everyone gets a fair shot at opportunities to succeed and contribute to our great City,” Council President Clarke said. “Whether you’re a family trying to pay the bills, a child who seeks quality education and recreational services, a former offender looking for a second chance, or a victim awaiting justice, Philadelphia wants you to be an asset to your neighborhood and your City.”
Council President Clarke added: “I want to thank my 16 Council colleagues and our staff for their engagement in the budget process. Our preference for vehicles might occasionally differ but our destination remains the same: a safer, healthier, more prosperous Philadelphia.”