Letters: Why would Philadelphia non-profits pay taxes if they don't have to?

Posted: March 23, 2012

Not to call you cheap, but . . .

I read the article written by Holly Otterbein ("In Our Money," March 21) on how nonprofit institutions have not paid their voluntary financial commitment to the city of Philadelphia. I cannot say I am surprised.

Why would University of Pennsylvania, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Drexel and Temple pay a noncommitment-commitment? These organizations haven't stopped using city services. They just don't want to help pay for them.

I don't think the city is blameless in this, not by a long shot. Act 55 no longer allows the city to "twist their arms "(nonprofits) OK, so why were no "bills" sent to the PILOT participants or a phone call made? For some reason, the old saying "Out of sight, out of mind" rings true in my mind.

Ellen F. Goldberg

Elkins Park

He can't wait for the new Mitt

I can understand Mitt Romney liking Etch A Sketch. Heck, I couldn't put it down when I was kid too. Why are we all aghast when a Romney adviser tells us his primary persona will disappear after he becomes the candidate?

So, folks, get the popcorn out and let's see the new Mitt Romney again this fall. He changes positions more than a GPS that keeps recalculating.

Anthony J. Frascino

Swedesboro, N.J.

Feed the hungry where?

Who would have thought that a little local drama would have national and international appeal? "Hunger Games" stars Philadelphia's homeless, those who want to feed them outdoors, and the mayor who opposes the idea.

Jim Acton


Soda values

Even though a soda tax "is not on his radar screen," Mayor Nutter has said publicly that he's still focused on reducing obesity, urging Philadelphians to eat and drink in moderation. The mayor may be surprised to hear that the soft drink industry agrees with him. In fact, soft drink and beverage companies have been working for years to help families maintain more sensible, balanced diets and make healthier lifestyle choices.

The greater availability of low and no-calorie drinks has contributed to a 23 percent reduction in the average calories per serving since 1998. The innovation of more teas and flavored waters - many of which have zero calories - have given people more chances to find the healthy drink that's right for them.

In Philadelphia and across the country, we cut beverage calories in schools by 88 percent by voluntarily removing full-calorie soft drinks and replacing them with more low-calorie and smaller portion options.

The industry pledged $10 million in support for Children's Hospital of Philadelphia's efforts to expand their obesity awareness and reduction efforts to dozens of new neighborhoods and thousands more families. It is another public-private partnership dedicated to making a real difference and it is on pace to become the foundation for a groundbreaking obesity intervention program - and, it is hoped, a template for cities and communities.

The beverage industry is also encouraging families and children to find time for more physical activity. We've supported Children's Hospital of Philadelphia's Healthy Kids Day, the Philadelphia Boys and Girls Clubs and the YMCA.

Francis X. McGorry

President, Philadelphia Beverage


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