City: Fine, We’ll Explain How We Did the Assessments But We Don’t Expect YOU to Understand

CityHall-2006The City’s chief assessor has announced that the Office of Property Assessment will post a document explaining how the new property assessments were determined–something that’s been asked for not only by citizens but by members of City Council. McKeithen, of whom we’re rather fond, has seemed a bit irritated by the request, as though we should all take it on faith that the city–which has bungled (or simply not done) the assessments since before the first Franklin impersonator donned his spectacles–would get it absolutely right on the first try.

(We will give McKeithen a pass for his irritability around AVI because he’s not from Philadelphia, and has been appalled since he arrived here to see how messed up everything is. This, from a man who was chief assessor in D.C.)

Nonetheless, McKeithen is responding to the will of the people–or the people as represented so ably by their Council members–and will release a 15-page document, whose length he emphasized as though the average attention span of a Philadelphian was sufficient only to read a SEPTA pass.

From Newsworks:

“What I do caution people to understand is that assessments are very convoluted, detailed system of value and property,” he said. “And it takes years of training and understanding algorithms and things like that. So it’s very difficult for laymen to sit in their home and just derive their assessment.”

He said much the same thing to City Council members this week. From CBS 3:

On Tuesday OPA Chief Richie McKeithen promised council that detailed information on this will be posted on their website, but he cautioned they may not make sense.

McKeithen said: “It takes years of training and understanding algorithms and things like that…it’s very detailed and it takes a lot of training to really get down to the details of everything.”

Perhaps Councilman Jim Kenney put it best: “I know we’re a little thick, but I think we can probably figure it out.”