Philadelphia AVI - Crosstown Coalition of Taxpayers Report

The Crosstown Coalition of Taxpayers has released a report finding that the Actual Valuation is a flawed initiative.

As a result of the efforts of the Coalition and the Controller's Office the city council has decided to audit the AVI for accuracy.

The findings of the Coalition's report are mostly similar to that of the Controller's office - which isn't surprising as they used the same data.

Philadelphia Property Tax - Multi Family Properties

The third most important part of Philadelphia property is the multi-family category. So far I haven't seen much analysis of this segment.

Three Options
-Nutter's proposal - 1.32 rate
-Kenney's proposal - 1.2 rate
-My proposal - 1.45 rate with a $30,000 property exemption (though I'm not sure if this a good idea for multi family - I might want to limit it to residential and commercial properties).

Unit Exemption - An Even Better Option

Philadelphia Property Tax Reform - Commercial Properties

The new valuations for commercial properties will generally cause their taxes to decrease.

This analysis is only looking at the regular property tax rate paid by commercial property. I am not looking at the Use and Occupancy tax as Nutter has not made a proposal on this that I know of. If the Use and Occupancy tax is not decreased it will lead to a dramatic increase in tax on commercial property as the U&O tax is set at 5.51% (four times the proposed 1.32% rate). My guess is that the U&O tax will be decreased to make it roughly revenue neutral - perhaps between 0.5% and 1%.

Buying a House - Maps and Data is an incredible website for anyone who is considering buying a house in the US, a renter who wants to understand the rental market, or just wants to know how much their house might be worth.

A realtor will have access to a database that includes more information (notably a more detailed history of the listings and sales for a property), but Zillow still has an amazing level of detail.

Occupy Philadelphia - City Hall - October 6

Last night I attended the second General Assembly for Occupy Philadelphia in a united methodist church one block from City Hall.

I was amazed by the energy and number of people. I estimated 850 people at the meeting (and other people have estimated 900-1000+). The Facebook Event had 830 people who said they would come. How is that for accuracy? =)

I've read that there were 300 people at the first General Assembly and 50 people at the planning meeting for the second General Assembly.

There are currently 8100 people in the Occupy Philadelphia Facebook group.

Social Revolution to Sweep North Africa and the Middle East?

On January 23 I started to get very excited. The Tunisian revolution was in full swing and related demonstrations broke out in Yemen, Algeria, and Jordan. In Saudi Arabia a man set himself on fire.

Then on January 25, Egypt had its largest anti-government protest, reportedly since food protests in 1977. Egypt's protests have continued and we're waiting to see if Friday turns into a big day with the people gathering in mosques to pray and the mobilize.

Protests have continued in Yemen.

Jordan activists are organizing protests for Friday.

Factory Farm Map

I think this blog is heading towards being all about maps!

Factory Farm Map

This map features cows, pigs, and chickens (no sheep though) by county. It is interesting to see the difference between milk and cows for meat, or layers versus broilers. You can also see the increased concentration of factory farms. The farms are getting bigger!

When my Mom grew up on a farm they had their own chickens. Now a days, very few people do this.

Create Your Own Heat Maps - Google Maps

You can now make your own heat maps using the system that I created for the Energy Justice Communities Map.

Currently it is running very slow. The code is faster if you run it on your own computer (possibly 10-100 times in my case), and it might help to give mysql a lot of memory (notably for its key cache). You can download the source code.

Map of Race in Philadelphia

Census 2010 - No Sampling

From what I've read, the US 2010 census will not use sampling.

In 1990, the Census didn't count 8 million people and counted 4 million people twice. (Did they do a better job in 2000? I don't know.)

As the US population is around 300 million, this means that the Census has an error of anywhere from 1%-4% at the national level.

The people who aren't counted are poor, people of color, and undocumented immigrants.

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