Topic - Mark McDonald

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    Handful of Northeast vacants deemed unsafe

    There are more than 100 vacant homes in Philadelphia that are in such bad shape that they should be torn down immediately, City Controller Alan Butkovitz said last week. They’re just too unsafe to leave standing, he said.

    City investigates Fire Department sex scandal

    Firefighters have been talking about a sex scandal within their department for months, but no word of it came to the public’s attention until last week, when TV reports aired that several Philadelphia Fire Department employees were about to be disciplined.

    PAL cop wins asbestos lawsuit against city

    Officer Paul Zenak won a civil lawsuit in which he claimed that his supervisors retaliated against him after he complained about asbestos at a Police Athletic League center in Wissinoming.

    A Philadelphia police officer has won a civil lawsuit against the city in which he claimed that his supervisors retaliated against him after he complained about asbestos at a Police Athletic League center in Wissinoming.

    Corrected real estate tax bills to be distributed

    A Bustleton resident is one of those city taxpayers who, on one hand, won, and on the other, lost.

    Property owners report incorrect taxes

    Marvin Lewis was one of the lucky ones, or, so he thought. The Fairfield Street resident in November was informed that the assessment on his home would be knocked down almost $14,000.

    Neighborhood news in brief for the week of Dec. 18

    Read about a sinkhole in Northern Liberties, Rep. John Taylor's toy drive, PGW's latest work in the neighborhood, Standard Tap's donations to Philabundance, how to cut your taxes and more in this week's news in brief.

    Did your home’s value triple? City has a tax break for you

    Longtime residents who this year saw their homes’ assessments more than triple are being invited to participate in a program that could cut their 2014 taxes by hundreds of dollars. Last week, the city began mailing information about the Longtime Owner Occupants Program, or LOOP, to about 80,000 homeowners, said Mark McDonald, Mayor Michael Nutter’s spokesman. If they’re eligible, homeowners could see tax savings from a few dollars to thousands of dollars, McDonald said. Those tax decreases should average out at about $700, he added.

    Fire commissioner accused of lying under oath

    Standing on the apron of City Hall, Philadelphia firefighters union leader Joe Schulle on Friday accused Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers of lying under oath regarding the recent demotions of 14 union members.

    Closing time?

    An in-house announcement last week that the company that owns the old Kraft plant at Byberry and the Boulevard was considering closing it sent city and state officials scrambling to find out what they could do to save the large bakery’s almost 300 union jobs and keep Oreos baking in the Northeast.

    Elected officials aim to keep Kraft plant open

    State Sen. Mike Stack, state Reps. Kevin and Brendan Boyle and bakers’ union leaders today promised to do everything they can to make sure the half-century-old former Kraft plant at Byberry and the Boulevard doesn’t close, taking away the smell of baking Oreos and about 300 union jobs.

    Demoted firefighters testify before City Council

    Before joining the Philadelphia Fire Department, Joseph Pospiech served in combat with the U.S. military during the Vietnam War.

    More than 220K approved for Homestead Exemption

    More than 220,000 Philadelphia homeowners will get real estate tax breaks next year because they have been approved for the $30,000 Homestead Exemption.

    Group says AVI overprices low-cost homes

    River Wards neighborhood groups are part of a citizens' coalition that has produced a report claiming the city's AVI plan is flawed and needs more work.

    Among the missing — 8,800 assessments

    Some residents haven’t received the new 100 percent market valuations of their properties from the city yet and the deadline for asking for a review of a new assessment is March 31. However, a spokesman for Mayor Michael Nutter said last week that property owners will have a month from receipt of their new assessments to ask for reviews of numbers they don’t like.

    Appealing numbers?

    The new real estate assessments that residents will receive next month will include a form on how to ask for a review of the number.

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