April 4, 1991 |
Washington Township Council tonight is expected to vote on a plan that may end a long, embarrassing dispute over the township's tax abatement ordinance. The compromise, proposed by Councilman John Rogale, would likely set minimum requirements for the size of an operation or the number of employees or both. Proponents hope the plan will strengthen an ordinance adopted in October 1989 that was intended to attract new noncommercial businesses to the town. The ordinance allows the township to reduce taxes on new businesses for the first five years.
December 15, 2005 |
With panoramic river views, satin chrome fixtures, and access to a shimmering infinity pool, the Marina View Towers comes with amenities that make many residents drool. But an upper-floor unit that sells for $1.1 million also comes with something that makes many Philadelphians irate: a tax break worth $147,000 over 10 years. The break comes courtesy of an eight-year-old city law that lets owners of new and rehabbed properties pay taxes for a decade at the same rate the property fetched before being converted from a vacant lot or an industrial shell.
March 30, 2009
RE "Top dollar in city real estate" on the multi-million-dollar condos being sold at Liberty Place: This should be the poster child for the repeal of the city's real-estate tax abatement. Homeowners who will be facing a 19 percent increase in property taxes proposed for 2010 are subsidizing these and other condos. City taxpayers are giving a tax-free ride for luxury residences that include a "four bedroom residence, including a master bedroom with steam shower and Jacuzzi tub, two powder rooms, a billiard room with a wet bar, and 'ample entertainment space' complete with fireplace and wet bar, custom kitchen and hand-finished walnut flooring.
September 21, 2005 |
When legislators voted to allow gambling companies to open casinos in Pennsylvania, they justified the move by saying that heavy taxes on the slots operators would bring in as much $1 billion in revenue. But as the state is tallying up what it will take off the top, it is handing millions of dollars back to the wealthy gambling corporations because some of the proposed slots-parlor sites are in special tax-abatement zones. The savings to companies that build in the zones will be substantial because owners will be exempt from paying property, payroll, sales and other business taxes - money that would normally go the state and local municipalities.
February 27, 1996 |
Wealthy Bucks County businessman Frederick L. DeRatto was sentenced yesterday to 33 months in prison for conspiring to swindle people who sought careers in tax abatement services. U.S. District Judge John P. Fullam also ordered DeRatto to make restitution of $1,859,875, with $500,000 due in 90 days. DeRatto, 56, president of Allied Electronics, Bristol, will remain free pending appeal. Defense attorneys Thomas Bergstrom and Joel Slomsky had argued for leniency, contending that De-Ratto was no more than a pawn in a scheme that others ran, a passive investor.
December 14, 2008 |
Former Phillies slugger Pat Burrell might not fit the profile of a guy who needs a tax break, but he gets an enormous one nonetheless: a $37,284 discount on the $42,628 annual property-tax bill for his $2.6 million condo in Center City. Though the free-agent left fielder has paid a king's ransom in other city taxes, he is one of more than 8,000 Philadelphia real estate owners who are beneficiaries of the city's property-tax abatement program. The most generous of its kind in the nation, it offers 10 years of lowered real estate levies on buildings that are renovated or newly constructed.
February 27, 2008
MAYBE WE WERE only imagining the sound of champagne corks popping at PGW headquarters yesterday, after the honor of "most screwed-up municipally owned utility" officially passed from the gas company to the Water Department . . . or at least the division that collects its bills. Yesterday, City Controller Alan Butkovitz released a report on a review of delinquent water and sewer accounts, and it made us almost forget about the past billing-system problems at PGW. Based on its review of the Water Department's billing system in place last year, the controller's office found $161 million in uncollected bills, accounts allowed to linger for 15 years before water was shut off, questionable abatements of huge water bills - one for $276,000 - and federal and state offices that have let $1.5 million in water bills pile up for years.
February 9, 1989 |
The city is giving too many tax breaks to Center City developers and not enough to low-income neighborhoods, the city's commerce director said yesterday. "We've been giving away too much tax abatement," city Commerce Director William Hankowsky told Mayor Goode's Tax Policy and Budget Advisory Committee, the blue-ribbon panel considering Goode's proposed $70 million tax increase. Hankowsky said the city was losing $50 million a year in uncollected tax revenues because of abatements granted to 5,700 properties.
December 20, 2005 |
MAYOR STREET is quite an obstacle to progress. Here we are, ready to move on from business tax reform to improving property tax abatements. But the lame duck threatens to veto tax cuts hammered out last week. Miserable it is to be a Street duckling on Council as he lets you roast on the spit of public opinion. Letting others burn is the defining behavior of lame ducks. Mayor Duck frets that passing a tax bill before his budget address is "terrible, terrible public policy," reported the Daily News.
September 27, 1991 |
The Washington Township Council last night took the first step toward abolishing the township's controversial tax-abatement program by voting, 5-0, to do away with it. "There's no future to this plan anymore," said Councilman Robert Berry in one of the few comments on the vote. Berry said that any request for tax abatements in the future would be perceived as posing a conflict of interest for council members. Mayor Gerald Luongo, who has championed the program as a way to stimulate economic development and attract good-paying jobs, did not try to defend the program last night.