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Pa. Senate Signs Off on Philadelphia Plan For Property Tax Overhaul

By Mike Dunn

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) -- The Pennsylvania Senate today gave final approval to a bill that Mayor Nutter needs in order to move ahead with his controversial overhaul of Philadelphia's property taxes.

The new assessment system dubbed the Actual Value Initiative ("AVI") will result in higher assessments, and that means the mayor and City Council will have to lower the millage rate significantly.

Under state law, there's one small portion of the millage that the city cannot now adjust.

But now the state senate has approved a measure that gives the city the authority to do so.

Nutter spokesman Mark McDonald says that without this bill, there could be major problems.

"You would have a situation where arguably 85 percent or 90 percent of the millage would be reduced as part of AVI, and then you'd have this small portion that would not be affected.  And that would create a real problem," he said.

The bill now goes to the Pennsylvania House, where members are expected to take it up before concluding their fall session.

This past spring, City Council opted to delay implementation of AVI by one year.  At this point, the new assessments are expected to be mailed out next February, and those would the basis for property tax bills due in 2014.


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