Spruce
Hill
Community
Association
 257
South
45th
Street


 Philadelphia,
PA
19104
 



























June 13, 2012 Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell Room 408 City Hall Philadelphia, PA 19107-3290 Dear Councilwoman Blackwell, We are aware City Council is considering several options regarding the Actual Value Initiative (AVI). We are also aware that the decisions that you make will impact the city as a whole and our neighborhood very significantly. We would urge you to delay the implementation of AVI at this time. As a pure public policy issue, AVI makes a lot of sense. Assessments of real estate for property purposes should be accurate. fair, and easy to understand. The city’s assessment has been an absolute mess for many years. That being said, AVI is not ready to be implemented. The assessments are not completed. We do not know what the overall valuation for the city will be. Perhaps most importantly, we do not know whether AVI has been done accurately. Speculation is that many of the same inaccuracies and disparities remain even with the new assessments. AVI is an unprecedented change in our tax structure. When AVI is implemented, many residents will see their tax bills multiply, owing thousands of dollars more than before. Of course this will be unavoidable in some cases. There are several problems however. The public is generally not aware of the magnitude of the changes and has not planned for them. There is no way for them to get any specific information on how AVI will affect them as it is not complete and the individual assessments are not settled. Perhaps most importantly, the public has no confidence the job has been done right. Rushing to meet a July 1 deadline to prematurely force this dramatic change on our citizens is the wrong tact to take. Implement AVI when it is complete; people will understand how it will affect them and we will know if the assessments were done accurately. Sincerely, Edward T. Halligan President

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