10 Reasons Not to Fear AVI

Yes, the Actual Value Initiative is here and it’s causing panic in the streets. But there are plenty of reasons it’s not as bad as you think, chief among them: Have you ever known the city to implement a program exactly as planned? Come on. That’s simply not going to happen. So the version of AVI you see now is certainly not the version of AVI you’ll come to know. Keeping that major plus in mind, here are 10 more reasons not to panic.

1. The notice you got in the mail IS NOT A BILL. It is simply the newly perceived market value of your home.
2. The notice you got in the mail does not indicate how much your property taxes will be. You can’t know that until Council sets a rate, which they won’t do before they set a budget, for which the deadline is June 30.
3. The majority of homeowners in Philadelphia will see a decrease in their property taxes.
3. City Council members are looking at various relief measures for those whose property taxes may go up, including (but not limited to) seniors and residents who live in gentrified neighborhoods.
4. For those who don’t like AVI, Council may consider a bill that phases in AVI over the course of three years.
5. It’s impossible to know what tax rate will be right now. Nutter wants it to be 1.25 percent; Councilman Mark Squilla prefers 1 percent; if the homestead exemption goes into wide effect it could be 1.34 percent to 1.4 percent.
6. Other proposed relief ideas include payment plans, a state constitutional amendment to even out the burden between homeowners and businesses; a yearly cap.
7. New property taxes won’t go into effect until 2014.
8. Property taxes change every year.
9. There are innumerable community meetings coming up for citizens to ask all the questions they want to. A list is here.
10. There is a 3-step appeals process if you disagree with the new assessment. BUT THE DEADLINE IS MARCH 31 for the first step.

Still frightened? Call 215-686-9200.