Rep. Michael H. O'Brien
175th Legislative District
Philadelphia County

O'Brien backs Philly tax relief package in response to AVI

HARRISBURG, Jan. 15 – State Rep. Mike O'Brien, D-Phila., today joined fellow Philadelphia lawmakers in unveiling a tax relief package aimed at helping city homeowners impacted by the mayor's Actual Value Initiative, or AVI.

O'Brien is a prime sponsor of legislation in the package. His bill would provide taxpayer relief by requiring Philadelphia to use age and financial need when considering property tax relief for long-term owner-occupants through 2023. The city would continue to have the authority to use age and financial need in 2024 and beyond if it chose to do so.

Right now Philadelphia is prohibited by law from taking age and financial need into consideration, while other cities in Pennsylvania, like Pittsburgh, are not.

"We all understand the need to do something about property taxes and a fairer system of valuation,” O’Brien said. "But the Nutter administration has gone about it the wrong way from day one. It is proper and necessary for state lawmakers to step in and provide a lifeline to homeowners who can least afford a property tax hike, some of which will be up to 300 percent. It would be a disservice to our public school children and homeowners alike to stand back and do nothing.

"My legislation would give our city the same rights as Pittsburgh," he said.

The other three bills in the package would:

  • Provide the city with additional authority to collect delinquent property taxes. By allowing the city to place liens against all of the delinquent property owners’ real estate located within the state of Pennsylvania. When the property owner attempts to sell any of his/her property located within the Commonwealth, the lien must be satisfied. 
  • Make a constitutional amendment authorizing two classes of properties (residential and commercial) in the city.
  • Give the city the ability to provide eligible Philadelphia homeowners with the option to make property tax payments in periodic installments. 

O'Brien said relief from high property taxes has been a goal of the General Assembly for many years. House lawmakers voted last session to create a special task force to study the issue and come up with recommendations. O'Brien said the package of bills for Philadelphia is part of the solution.

The bills outlined today are being prepared for introduction and referral to House standing committees.

Michael O'Brien

175th Legislative District
Philadelphia County
(215) 503-3245