So we know the question you're really asking amid this budget debate: what the heck is happening to my tax bill?

We'll try to answer. Just bear with us.

If Council ends up approving Mayor Nutter's plan to move to a property-tax system based on market values, known as the Actual Value Initiative (AVI), your tax bill is likely going to change. But the city hasn't yet released new assessments or what the millage rate will be, so the best we can do right now is an educated guess.

This week Finance Director Rob Dubow said that a Council consultant had made a reasonable estimation that the total value of all property in Philadelphia was $80 billion. Based on that, he said your tax rate under AVI could range from 1.6 percent to 1.8 percent, depending on the tax protections Council approves.

Council seems likely to approve an exemption that would lower assessments by $30,000 for all property owner-occupiers and a gentrification protection for longtime homeowners. That would make the tax rate 1.8 percent, according to Dubow.

So let's do some math. Let's say your house is worth $250,000, based on recent sales in your area. With a $30,000 homestead exemption and a 1.8 percent tax rate, your bill for next year would be $3,960. If your home is likely worth $150,000, the bill would be $2,160. And if it's worth $75,000 then it would be $810.

You can do this math yourself and see how the new bill compares with your last bill.

If you've been in your home for more than 10 years, your assessment would be capped at three times your current value for a decade under the gentrification protection.

The city expects to mail new property assessments in September. Keep your eye on the mailbox.

Contact Catherine Lucey at 215-854-4172, or follow @phillyclout on Twitter. Read her blog "PhillyClout" at