Northeast Times

Editorial: Do actual collecting

   If you voted yes­ter­day, you get a gold star for cit­izen­ship. If you didn’t vote, shame on you. Blame the guy in the mir­ror if you get the gov­ern­ment you didn’t vote for.
   Now it’s time for Phil­adelphi­ans to fo­cus on an is­sue of equal, and maybe even great­er, im­port­ance: The city’s very broken prop­erty-tax sys­tem. After years of delay and cow­ardice by elec­ted of­fi­cials, the city is fi­nally try­ing to in­sti­tute re­form by tax­ing prop­er­ties at a per­cent­age of what they are ac­tu­ally worth.
The plan is called the Ac­tu­al Value Ini­ti­at­ive, and while it’s long over­due, it should not go in­to ef­fect un­til Phil­adelphia gets its fisc­al house in or­der by elim­in­at­ing waste, max­im­iz­ing mu­ni­cip­al em­ploy­ees’ pro­ductiv­ity, and find­ing cheap­er ways to de­liv­er city ser­vices, in­clud­ing privat­iz­ing trash col­lec­tion by giv­ing the job to the qual­i­fied low­est bid­der and re­quir­ing the win­ner to re­tain the cur­rent work­force.
   Un­der no cir­cum­stances should Phil­adelphia res­id­ents or mer­chants al­low the city gov­ern­ment to col­lect an­oth­er dime in prop­erty taxes un­til it gets its act to­geth­er and col­lects back taxes. That means May­or Mi­chael “I’ll Re­form City Gov­ern­ment” Nut­ter must in­struct the com­mis­sion­ers of the De­part­ments of Rev­en­ue and Li­censes & In­spec­tions to get to­geth­er with the city so­li­cit­or, who runs the Law De­part­ment, to crack down, IM­ME­DI­ATELY, on tax dead­beats.
   “Phil­adelphia has over $500 mil­lion in de­lin­quent prop­erty taxes but no new plan and very little dis­cus­sion about how to col­lect what is alreadly owed. We’re also still wait­ing for the rev­en­ue num­bers from the re­as­sess­ment to come in,” says North­east Philly state Sen. Mi­chael Stack. “These are the is­sues we need to tackle be­fore we talk about AVI and city prop­erty taxes.”
Amen.
Send let­ters to the ed­it­or to: pronews@bsmphilly.com

You can reach at staff@bsmphilly.com.

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