Monday, August 13, 2012
City debuts new L & I mapping system for detailed neighborhood info.
Fulfilling a promise issued by its former commissioner, the Philadelphia Department of Licenses and Inspections debuted a comprehensive, interactive mapping tool that outlines city activity on every Philadelphia block. With interactive maps for zoning permits, construction projects, violations and a variety of other tools, the new map is part of a larger overhaul for L & I's entire website. Citizen groups have long requested real-time web access to publicly available property information. In one day, Philadelphia became a much more transparent city. Before Commissioner Frances Burns left, she said the city's L & I was ready to debut an overhauled website. Joshua Cohen, staff member for Democratic Majority Leader City Councilman Curtis …
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
The Philadelphia Water Department presented their proposed rate increase Tuesday at Roxborough Memorial Hospital.
Residential water bills in Philadelphia could increase up to 28.5 percent over the next four years, according to information given at the second of five public hearing on the proposed increases at Roxborough Memorial Hospital Tuesday evening. Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) representatives gave a presentation on why the department is proposing the hikes. “We know times are hard and the economy is down and we raise rates as a last resort,” said Joanne Dahme, public affairs manager for PWD. "What we are proposing is not a done deal, it is what we think is necessary for us to operate in a sound manner," she added. The Increase: Challenging the Increase Because regulations require a public advocate to challenge the necessity of rate …
Thursday, July 5, 2012
Philadelphia Water Department to hold public hearings on rate increase.
If you want any say about your water bill going up, now is your chance to weigh in. The Philadelphia Water Department announced a series of public meetings to be held throughout July for utility customers to discuss the proposed rate hike. Currently, the average monthly bill is $57.43. If adopted, the rate would go up $3.52 in October 2012, a 6.1 percent increase. Over the next four years, the rate would gradually increase, with the eventual average monthly bill totaling $73.82 in 2016. In a news release, the Water Department said the increase would boost revenue $316.2 million from October 2012 through June 2016. “Water rates fund the day-to-day operation of our 6,000-mile water and sewer pipe network, pumping stations, water and …
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
A new map shines some light on that question.
The majority of homeowners in Roxborough-Manayunk would likely see their property taxes increase between $1,000 and $3,000 if Mayor Michael Nutter's Actual Value Initiative (AVI) is implemented, according to a map released by the Philadelphia Public Interest Information Network. The map shows how AVI might specifically affect individual areas throughout Philadelphia if the tax rate is set at 1.8 percent of the home's value. That hasn't been settled yet but could be once City Council passes a budget. The body is required to do that by the end of June. AVI would likely require homes to be assessed at their actual market value. It's still up in the air if AVI will be approved for 2012 or if City Council defers it. Here's a look at the …
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
The nuts and bolts of how Philadelphia will establish property assessment.
Philadelphia city government currently is working to determine how specifically to tax property owners for their 2012 tax bill. Not matter what the actual outcome of the actual value assessment debate, the Office of Property Assessment is finishing up the investigative process to come up with assessments. As it's the first time Philadelphia will complete a citywide evaluation all at once, sticker shock could be prevalent for property owners this fall. In info sessions at local civic associations, OPA members are sharing with residents how they assess their properties. Richie McKeithern, chief assessment officer, told the Wissahickon Neighbors Civic Association that the citywide assessment will get the tax system more in line with market …
Monday, June 11, 2012
Philly.com and Plan Philly offer interactive map of problematic properties.
Philadelphia city government is considering a major overhaul in the way taxes are collected. In addition, the Office of Property Assessment is working to assess the value of nearly the entire city's properties. The end result intends to raise more revenue and for every property owning Philadelphian to pay their fair share in taxes. However, according to a report compiled by The Philadelphia Inquirer and Plan Philly, tax delinquent properties account for tons of revenue left on the table. In Roxborough and Manayunk, the problem persists but appears not as severe as elsewhere in the city. Sure, you can find tax delinquent properties on nearly every block, but the density hardly approaches levels present in other neighbors, where nearly every…
Saturday, June 9, 2012
It's working toward implementing Mayor Michael Nutter's Actual Value Initiative as well.
City Council gave its initial approval to a plan proposed by Mayor Michael Nutter that would implement a property tax system based on the true value of city properties and laid the groundwork for giving an additional $85 million to the school district during a hearing Thursday. Nutter has been working to encourage City Council to adopt his proposed Actual Value Initiative, which would assess property taxes based on how much city properties are actually work. Council gave preliminary approval to that and to a plan to give the School District of Philadelphia an additional $85 million, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. This is all part of Council's work to adopt a budget before the end of the month.
Thursday, May 31, 2012
Zoning board approves restoration of 8919 Ridge Ave. complex.
Nearly eight months after a fire destroyed part of a shopping center in Andorra, four small businesses are on their way to recovery. The Philadelphia Zoning Board of Adjustment approved Wednesday plans for the previous businesses—Veterans Bingo Hall, Lucky Star Restaurant, Pinki Nails and a tobacco shop—to return to the strip mall at 8919 Ridge Ave. in Andorra. A fire ripped through the complex Oct. 17, 2011, destroying the four businesses closest to Old Line Road. Though other entities continued operations, these four shops have been closed since. "Right now, it's just a demolished site. We're just trying to get it back under control and for the businesses to reopen," attorney Hercules Grigos said. Constitution Bank owns the shopping …
Thursday, May 10, 2012
Zoning board votes for new Domino Lane school, as long-time catering to shutdown.
Accepting provisos established by a local civic association, the Philadelphia Zoning Board of Adjustment approved construction plans for a new Green Woods Charter School on Domino Lane. The move will follow a property sale from Keenan's Valley View Inn, which will soon close. At a Wednesday hearing, the ZBA unanimously supported the construction of a 34-classroom, 675-student school to be constructed at 468 Domino Lane—site of the current Roxborough catering hall. The vote was contingent on building agreements requested by the Ridge Park Civic Association, which supported the project. Green Woods is currently located at the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education. After receiving permission from the School District of Philadelphia …