Read This If You Hate Your Property Taxes

By Randy LoBasso
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 2 | Posted Mar. 30, 2010

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You have the chance to eliminate the Board of Revision of Taxes.

The good-government group Committee of Seventy wants you to know that the BRT is an “independent agency that sets the value of all properties in the city – which in turn dictates how much you pay in property taxes.” If you didn’t know, now you do.

And the Committee has just released 70 Q&As about why the Board of Revision of Taxes should be eliminated. Why, you ask? The Committee claims property taxes are often based on bad information. You may remember a 2009 Inquirer expose that explains that on a single block, “eight of 22 houses on one block had inaccurate property descriptions including garages attached to wrong houses and extra floors.”

Yeah, it’s boring—but informative! This is the sort of thing that’s important and worth a read if you plan on voting May 18. Mayor Nutter has set his agenda to eliminate the BRT, and Frank DiCicco has proposed a 12.1% increase in property taxes to take the place of the soda and gas taxes—and to eliminate or not to eliminate will be a ballot question during the primary. The Committee urges you to not leave this one blank. But you need to get to the ballot box to do so. We suggest you do.

 

Schools are open for voting.

Yep. To make up for snow days, Philadelphia schools, 197 of which act as polling places, will be open for business, the Inquirer reports. Margaret Tartaglione, who leads the commissioners who oversee city elections, isn’t too happy about it. “There will be thousands of people walking through the schools, and it's dangerous. I got such a headache,” she told the Inquirer.

Officials are worried about how heavy turnout could cause chaos at Philly’s public places of learning, especially with a governor’s race and Joe Sestak challenging Arlen Specter for the state’s Democratic Senate Seat.

Sestak may be working on a big Philly turnout.

On Sunday, Sestak gathered Philadelphians at a town hall in a Frankford church, where he answered questions concerning the health-care bill. This may be the beginning of a new Sestak offensive for a rogue challenge from a candidate whose campaign has yet to really get off the ground.

Unlike the town halls of last summer, this weekend’s open mic didn’t get too heated, though one Fishtown resident and member of the local Tea Patriot group showed up dressed in costume (of the 1770s variety). The constituent told Sestak that health-care reform was no more than “involuntary servitude.” Sestak was joined and supported outside the church by members of Health Care for America Now, who are actively supporting those congress people who voted 'Yes' on health care.

We don't know what Sestak's been waiting for, but maybe this is the beginning of a new strategy.

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1. Anonymous said... on Mar 30, 2010 at 08:35AM

“We vote today?????”

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2. Vince said... on Apr 14, 2010 at 04:44AM

“Yeah, Ms. Tartaglione got that right, it is dangerous....to the voters!! Teachers don't even show up in Philly schools! The voters better wear their stab/bullet proof vests and pray for the best.”

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