LETTERS Tax cuts not the problem

Posted: December 02, 2004

IN HIS letter "The snake oil of tax cuts" (Nov. 29), municipal union chief Tom Cronin offers a skewed view of our city's fiscal condition, blaming pending layoffs on Philadelphia's desperately needed tax-reduction program.

But spending for the city administration's pet projects - not tax cuts - is forcing the current municipal belt tightening.

In recent years, the city exhausted a $300 million surplus with hundreds of millions of dollars of new spending for the Eagles stadium and Phillies ballpark, for blight removal programs, for police overtime, for the school takeover deal and for the increased costs of raises for the city's union workforce.

Meanwhile, reasonable tax reductions have saved jobs for residents across Philadelphia.

The city hired Wharton tax guru Robert Inman to look at the success of the city's tax-reduction program. He determined that the modest cuts have saved the city more than 22,000 jobs in recent years.

The Tax Reform Commission concluded that full implementation of its recommendations would mean 47,000 additional jobs in Philadelphia in the coming years.

Looking ahead, we can continue to maintain painfully high taxes that chase jobs from Philadelphia, and be forced to cut city spending to be able to afford the cost of additional pet projects and tax breaks for favored firms - or we can enact the Tax Reform Commission's recommendations to make city taxes more fair and less burdensome to grow jobs in the city.

Cutting taxes for everyone means that the city will be better able to compete for new jobs so the city's private sector can grow again without having to rely on handouts and tax breaks carefully doled out to favored corporations or developers.

With an expanding tax base, we will be able to support spending for improved city services. Isn't this what we all want?

Brett Mandel, Executive Director

Philadelphia Forward


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