On February 28, the Washington Square West Civic Association held an open community meeting with Philadelphia City Council members Mark Squilla, James Kenny, and Dennis O'Brien.
It was a packed room as almost 100 neighbors attended to get the latest information on the city's Actual Value Initiative (AVI). CBS News channel 3 was on hand indicating how important yet controversial the subject currently is in the city. Our own Judy Applebaum made the 11 o'clock news that night referring to the possible impacts AVI might have on our neighborhood.
Although most residents have received their new proposed property assessments in the mail some attendees had yet to receive theirs from the city. Residents can also go to the Office of Property Assessment's (OPA) web site and look up their new proposed assessed values (www.phila.gov/opa).
Much of the discussion Thursday night was focused on how OPA developed the new assessments, how residents can have their new assessments reviewed and the timeline for implementation of the new taxing structure.
All 3 council members were actively engaged in the discussion and reiterated their intention to force the city to maintain as much fairness in the implementation of the new tax as possible. Residents are encouraged to request a "Review" of their new assessment values from OPA if they feel it is not accurate.
Overall, Wash West will come through the new assessment process in much better shape than some neighborhoods in the city. The property tax increase from 2013 to 2014 for Wash West as a neighborhood is estimated to be about 16%. Some neighborhoods are seeing triple digit increases.
For the latest information on AVI and how Wash West is helping to facilitate the discussion keep checking the Wash West web site.