Transcripts of full meetings of the council.

Thank you, Mr. President.

Mr. President, the bill that I just introduced addresses the issue of AVI as we go to full actual value as we do the new property assessments, which recently the process has just started, and in certain parts of my district which are facing extraordinary increases in their real estate taxes, specifically Graduate Hospital, parts of Point Breeze, residents will see their assessments jump by 500, 600, 700 and well over 1,000 percent. They will likely see their tax bills that are two, three, four, five, in some cases ten times more than what their last bill was.

Should under-assessed properties pay their fair share? Absolutely. But we have to be realistic. These residents didn't create this system. We should recognize that some folks simply cannot afford such a drastic increase all at once.

The bill I introduced today establishes a hardship deferment, which will allow those most affected taxpayers to enter into an arrangement with the City so that they can stay in their homes and avoid becoming tax delinquent.

Taxpayers who see their bills increase two and a half times will have the option to defer any amount over two and a half times their previous bill until they can afford the payments or until their property changes hands.

I am open to discussion about tweaking some of the specific variables in the bill, but I remain committed to protect residents who cannot afford drastic increases in their tax bills. Without protective measures, AVI could force honest tax-paying residents out of their homes.

It is also crucial that we confirm the accuracy of the new assessments so that we know we have a fair process. I have received dozens of calls, I have received dozens of calls from alarmed residents who believe their assessments are drastically off.

Before committing to AVI, we need to fully vent these new assessments. In the meantime, it is necessary to start the conversation regarding how we protect vulnerable residents who will not qualify for gentrification relief and who will not meaningfully benefit from the homestead exemption.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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