City Council spars with mayor, each other over proposed property tax assessments

Councilman Darrell Clarke.

City Council President Darrell Clarke introduced a packet of bills Thursday intended to cushion the blow of the Nutter administration’s proposed Actual Value Initiative of property tax assessments.

“The legislation has been introduced. I don’t know what’s going to happen – no one does,” Clarke said of AVI, calling the state’s role in the initiative, such as approving its homestead exemption, a “rolling ball.”

Clarke’s proposals include real estate tax credits for certain low income citizens, exemptions for long-term owner occupied properties and a provision allowing for installment payments. “Whatever ends up happening, this provides support to individual citizens who can’t pay their taxes,” he said.

Councilman Bill Green was a vocal AVI critic Thursday following a hearing the day before during which he claimed officials were unable to provide him with the data or deadlines necessary to estimate the shift’s impact.

“Yesterday, the administration scared me straight,” Green said. “There are a lot of uncertainties and everything will have to go exactly right and on schedule. That has not been my experience with government in the last four years and that has not been my experience with this administration.”

“Council will rue the day it takes an uninformed vote on the most significant issue, at least since I’ve been in Council. … The absence of such information is the administration’s responsibility based on their chosen timetable, and it feels purposeful.”

A separate piece of legislation earmarks for the embattled School District an estimated $94 million from taxing properties based on their full market value. Officials reportedly said at a meeting Tuesday that, without the additional revenue, schools may be unable to open in the fall.

“I’m fearful of losing a whole generation of young people due to someone’s ineptitude, whether it’s the school administration or someone else that failed to hold them accountable. The children will not be the fall guy,” Councilman Curtis Jones said, adding that Council members needed to “man up.”

Green shot back that school funding and the property tax assessment shift are two separate issues. “I’ll be happy to man up on both,” he said.


Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.


Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.


OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…


Oval oasis: Summer of fun kicks off this…

A bold partnership between the Fairmount Park Conservancy and the city's Parks and Recreation Department is kicking off this weekend with family activities re-activating this unused public space.


'Orphan Black' recap: Episode 1, ‘Nature Under Constraint…

Welcome to your first Season 2 “Orphan Black” recap! Hopefully Tatiana Maslany can help Tatiana Maslany get through this, with the help of Tatiana Maslany,…


Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."


Phillies notebook: Cole Hamels returns this week

The Phillies should receive a big boost when Cole Hamels returns during the Dodgers series.


Jimmy Rollins is key to Phillies success

When John Kruk was asked about what the Phillies need to contend for a playoff berth, the ESPN analyst said Jimmy Rollins needs to play like a MVP again.


Ben Revere lifts Phillies to avoid sweep

Ben Revere came through with a two-out RBI single against Atlanta’s tough lefthander Alex Wood.


Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.


Is camp right for introverts?

We ask an expert for tips on sending your introverted child to camp


How to parent without gender stereotypes in a…

Christia Spears Brown, Phd. author of "Parenting beyond Pink & Blue" gives advice on raising kids free of gender stereotypes.


VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.


#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.