When Philadelphia made Baldwin locomotives, Stetson hats, and Philco radios, it was the place to be. After some tough economic times, Philadelphia began transforming itself in the last two decades by rolling back many of the business-killing taxes that have plagued our city. Unfortunately, we have reversed direction.
With the latest budget approved by City Council and signed by Mayor Nutter, Philadelphia has increased taxes on residents and businesses six times in the last four budgets. Nearly all the tax reductions that had been moving us toward being competitive have been muted with these tax increases.
Meanwhile, spiraling pension costs, other unchecked government expenses, and the city Revenue Department's being unable to perform its prime duty (collecting the revenues that are owed) present major problems that need to be addressed immediately.
Being known as one of the worst cities for business taxes as well as last in tax collections are certainly two distinctions that Philadelphia needs to change.
To get back on the right path will take bold leadership, hard work, and some sacrifice. That leadership must begin with the Nutter administration.
This region has 84 schools of higher learning, more than any other place in the world. We have resourceful residents and homegrown businesses.
There should be enough clever people left here to help kick-start Philadelphia and restore it to its rightful place among other Gateway Cities.
E-mail Robert Zuritsky at email@example.com.