MAYOR NUTTER ANNOUNCES MORATORIUM ON ROUTINE BOARD OF REVISION OF TAXES ASSESSMENTS

BRT Restructured to Improve Accountability, Accuracy

Philadelphia, January 26, 2010 – Today Mayor Michael A. Nutter and Board of Revision of Taxes (BRT) Executive Director Richard Negrin announced a moratorium on all routine property assessments. This moratorium gives the Board time to complete both a deliberate and thorough review of the agency and implement a more accurate, fair, and predictable property tax assessment system. The moratorium will continue until both of these goals have been accomplished, which is anticipated to take approximately two years.
If the work is completed as tentatively scheduled by the end of calendar year 2011, the BRT will have reassessments ready for the 2012 tax year.

“This moratorium is an important step to restoring accuracy and accountability to the property tax system,” said Mayor Nutter. “All Philadelphia property owners deserve a fair and accurate tax assessment and this moratorium gives us the time to ensure that this occurs. With Rich’s leadership, I believe that the tax assessment system on the path to improvement.”

There will be some exceptions to the assessment moratorium including newly constructed properties, improved properties and consolidated or subdivided properties. And during this time, taxpayers may continue to exercise their rights to appeal any perceived inequities in their assessments.

Mayor Nutter has signed the legislation placing the restructuring of the property tax assessment system on the May ballot. If approved by voters, the BRT will be abolished and replaced by two separate and independent agencies in charge of the assessment and appeal functions. In the interim, Executive Director Negrin has established a plan to comprehensively restructure the current BRT, which stresses both accuracy and accountability. All assessment increases involving exceptions will need to be signed off by assistant administrators, in addition to evaluators and supervisors, in order to confirm adherence to moratorium parameters. For the first time, there exists an independent Quality Control Unit within the BRT to provide a vital review on the work being done by the Assessment Unit. Also, there will be a new emphasis on training so that all assessors have the same skills to assess properties.

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