Plus: Did Dr. Oz Abuse Puppies? And more of what the town is talking about (or should be talking about).
And now, let’s hate property valuations in Philly
If you own a home in Philadelphia, you’ve probably just received a letter from the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Property Assessment. I suggest you open it.
Inside is the city’s assessment notice for 2023. In other words, the city tells you what your home is worth and bases its future taxes on that value.
In my case, the value of my house in West Philly, which I’ve done nothing to improve since I moved in 16 years ago, somehow went up nearly 70 percent in just one year. That’s it nothing. I have heard stories from some owners who claim that the price of the city has increased by more than 200 percent.
Okay, so maybe the city can’t do math. Or maybe they are greedy. Either option is perfectly believable.
The real issue here is that the city was late in sending out these notices. It is assumed that the lack of envelope was a factor in this. And yet the city somehow managed to send me a bill for the fee the city makes me pay to have an alarm system in my house. I think I received three pieces of correspondence from the Water Department in the space of three weeks. (No, I wasn’t late.) But they couldn’t find envelopes for the property appraisals. Well then.
What you need to know is that there are two deadlines looming here. One is an occasional “top-level review” that you can request. The deadline for this is September 30. I called the mayor’s office and suggested they move this deadline. A spokesperson said they are looking into it and hope to have more information soon.
But then comes October 3rd. This is the deadline for the more complicated formal appeal to the Board of Tax Review. As the spokesperson explained, that deadline is set by the state and there’s nothing the city can do about it. A representative from Gov. Tom Wolf’s office confirmed this. Unfortunately, she said, moving the deadline would require a change in state law. Good luck making that happen.
The good news here is that if the city joins you in the first-level review, you’re good to go and won’t have to file a formal appeal with the BRT, which you’ll likely miss anyway. Good luck!
Did Dr. Oz abuse puppies?
Oh, I can’t wait until November gets here.
In the latest edition of the mud in John Fetterman-Dr. Fighting Oz, there is a rampant rumor that Dr. Oz has been abusing puppies. Well, more specifically, that a study Dr. Oz conducted on abused puppies. Which suggests to me that before long, we’ll be seeing a TV ad talking about how the quack candidate abused puppies. Thanks to our friends at Billy Penn for trying to sort out, you know, the facts of it all.
Speaking of fact checking
You know those anti-Fetterman “dangerously liberal on crime” TV commercials that are doing the rounds? Here’s the opinion of Philly-based nonpartisan organization Factcheck.org.
You knew it existed Two Are Fringe Festivals happening?
It’s September in Philadelphia, so you know what we’re excited for, right? No, not that the Eagles season is starting. And no, not that the City Council is about to come back into session in very interesting times. And no, not that we’re finally getting a break from the disgusting humidity that’s been hanging over us for far too long. I mean, yeah, we’re excited about these things. But that’s not what I want to talk about now.
September also means the return of the Philadelphia Fringe Festival. And we have not one, but two ‘Fringe’ festivals.
First, it’s the Fringe Festival as you’ve come to know it over the past two decades. And there is a lot to see there.
But there’s also the Free Fringe Philly festival, a kind of competitive event started a few years ago by former Fringe Festival attendees who were frustrated with the original festival. As the name suggests, all Free Fringe Philly shows are free. They pass the hat at the end of each performance, if you feel so inclined. Check it out Here for alignment. Whatever your plans are for tonight, they can’t be as fun or absurd as Gecko Therapywhich is pretty much what it sounds like.
Buzz Bissinger has a new book
Pulitzer-winning Philly journalist Buzz Bissinger only dropped his last book, The mosquito bowl. You may know Bissinger from reading about his addiction to leather and Gucci. Or maybe because he was the guy who ghostwrote Caitlyn Jenner’s memoir. Or maybe you’re a big fan of his Friday night lightshis best-selling tale of small-town Texas high school football.
Bissinger is speaking at the Free Library tonight. Later in the week, he is scheduled to be active Fresh air and Good morning Joe. But we caught him first. Check out our fascinating interview about his new book, how it felt to work with Caitlyn Jenner, why he loves skin so much and his refusal to teach Friday night lights to his students at Penn.
And from the sports office…
Well, yesterday was Tuesday, aka Not Much News Day, aka Pitchers’ Duel Snooze Day, and the Phils and Marlins took it to heart. (Is it just us, or are the Phils playing the Marlins like every other damn game?)
Bailey Falter gave the Phils six good innings while allowing just one run, a solo homer by Bryan De La Cruz in the fifth. That’s all she wrote until Nick Maton, who up until that point had been the goat for hits with two outs and the bases loaded in the fourth, atoned for his sins and then some by hitting a homer off Marlins starter Sandy Alcantara in the top of the match. seventh, with Jean Segura, who had three singles on the day in favor of the Fishies, Cy Young, at first base.
The Phils bullpen was later able to shut out the Marlins. Miracles happen! Maybe this will truly be the year that September doesn’t bring us a cloudy day. — Sandy Hingston