Northeast Times

Editorial: A message for City Hall

Be­ware, dear long-suf­fer­ing prop­erty own­ers in Phil­adelphia, the city tax­man is com­ing to get you. Well, some of you, any­way.
As you may have no­ticed from this week’s Page 1 story, the days of reck­on­ing for city of­fi­cials and res­id­ents alike are fast ap­proach­ing. A massive, city­wide re­as­sess­ment of prop­erty val­ues is nearly com­plete.
May­or Mi­chael “The Re­former” Nut­ter and City Coun­cil are go­ing to have to work with state law­makers in Har­ris­burg to cush­ion what is likely to be a huge blow to res­id­ents in up-and-com­ing neigh­bor­hoods whose prop­erty val­ues have soared since the city last un­der­took an ac­cur­ate sur­vey of the worth of homes and busi­nesses in the City of Broth­erly Love. The last such sur­vey was con­duc­ted seem­ingly when Ben Frank­lin was in di­apers.
Gentle read­ers, any­body who tries to tell you the city can’t af­ford to give a break to prop­erty own­ers who face a doub­ling or trip­ling of their tax bill is ly­ing. The city treas­ury is not ex­actly swim­ming in cash, but the city’s fin­an­cial straits are not as dire as Mr. Nut­ter would have you be­lieve.
When the city cuts all of its fat, waste and in­ef­fi­ciency and tackles the un­der­pro­ductiv­ity of many of the folks who “work” in City Hall, the Mu­ni­cip­al Ser­vices Build­ing and oth­er city of­fices — when Mr. Nut­ter fi­nally gets around to col­lect­ing the hun­dreds of mil­lions of dol­lars in de­lin­quent taxes from loc­al and out-of-state dead­beats, and when the may­or and Coun­cil fi­nally get around to sli­cing the city bur­eau­cracy, in­clud­ing a few at-large Coun­cil seats — then, and only then, should the city be au­da­cious enough to ask den­iz­ens of Phil­adelphia to pay more. Un­til then, City Hall, put up or shut up.
Send let­ters to the ed­it­or to: pronews@bsmphilly.com

You can reach at staff@bsmphilly.com.

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