August 30, 2016
Philadelphia has the highest business taxes among the nation's 30 largest cities. But instead of reforming its tax structure, the city has clipped around the edges by creating the greatest number of exemptions and incentives. That mishmash is an admission that the city's tax system is broken. There is scant evidence that the 21 exemptions and incentives that the city offers are working, according to an analysis by the Pew Charitable Trusts. Revenue losses due to the tax breaks have skyrocketed from an average of $14.9 million annually from 2001 to 2003, to $109.6 million annually from 2010 to 2012.
August 20, 2016 |
Among the nation's largest cities, Philadelphia offers the most business tax breaks, forgoing more than $200 million a year in revenue as a result, a study by the Pew Charitable Trusts found. The report, released Thursday, looked at business tax incentives and exemptions between 2001 to 2003 and 2010 to 2012, the most recent complete set of tax data. It determined that between 2010 and 2012, the city forgave an average of $110 million annually in business incentives and $106 million in industry tax exemptions.
May 27, 2016 |
If you are a business owner in Philadelphia who owes taxes, consider paying up now. Mayor Kenney said Wednesday that the city was weighing selling business-tax debts to third-party collectors as a way to collect millions owed in Business Income and Receipt Taxes (BIRT). City officials are looking at the legality of such a sale and will also conduct a feasibility study to determine the amount such a sale could generate, Kenney said. "A tax-debt sale could be a vital tool for the city to bring in delinquent tax dollars," Kenney said.
September 8, 2015 |
A group of Philadelphia civic and business leaders on Labor Day released a report projecting 79,000 new jobs in the city over the next decade if politicians agree to a major revamp of the city's tax structure. The study, commissioned by the Philadelphia Growth Coalition, is the latest volley in an effort to build support for a change to the Pennsylvania Constitution that would allow the city to tax commercial real estate at a higher rate than residential property. The current tax rate of 1.4 percent applies to all real estate.
June 25, 2015 |
TRENTON - New Jersey Democrats' top priority in passing a budget for the fiscal year that begins next Wednesday is to make a full contribution to the underfunded pension system for public workers. They have taken familiar steps to accomplish this, such as pushing legislation that would raise taxes on the state's highest earners and on corporations. Those components are part of a budget they advanced in committee Tuesday, setting up a full vote by the Legislature on Thursday. But Democrats also used a slick accounting maneuver to say they are making the full $3.1 billion payment for fiscal 2016, as was required by a 2011 law. (A state Supreme Court decision this month struck down that requirement.)
June 8, 2015 |
Now that the May election is over, City Council members have stopped campaigning and gotten serious about filling the hole in the School District's budget, right? Actually, no, they haven't. Compared with the need, the paltry $70 million that Council would generate by tepidly hiking three taxes is a joke. Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. has made it very clear that the schools need at least $85 million just to maintain the terrible status quo, which means a continuation of crowded classrooms with too few counselors, librarians, and nurses.
May 18, 2015 |
Brownstein Group and Vault Communications are in similar businesses: advertising and public relations, which means their success depends largely on people - who can set up shop anywhere. Brownstein is in Center City, while Vault is in Plymouth Meeting, and the tax consequences of their locations separate them far more than the 19 miles between their offices. Vault pays a business privilege tax of 0.15 percent and no local net income tax in Plymouth Township. Brownstein's tax bill in Philadelphia includes a 6.45 percent corporate income tax, a 0.1415 percent gross receipts tax, a 1.13 percent use and occupancy tax, and a 2 percent city sales tax. That heavier tax burden, coupled with the Philadelphia wage tax that is nearly four times higher than the average in the suburbs, has long handicapped the city's job growth.
April 21, 2015 |
I HAVE A GAME PLAN for the next mayor to gin up job growth in the city. And it's not that complicated. Let's get serious about making city government lean and use the savings to start whacking those job-killing business taxes. I asked Robert Inman, a professor of finance at the Wharton School, for his thoughts on the subject. Inman knows a thing or two about taxes and the city's economy: He consulted with the city on tax policy from 1988 to 1998 and has been a member of the Mayor's Council of Economic Advisors since 2002.
March 13, 2015 |
New Jersey lawmakers scrutinized Gov. Christie's proposed $33.8 billion budget Wednesday, hearing testimony in South Jersey on how the spending plan could affect hospitals, higher education, historic preservation, and services. Even as lawmakers welcomed comments on the merits of funding for those issues, they impressed upon the public the tight constraints of the budget. The Assembly Budget Committee convened at Collingswood's Scottish Rite Auditorium. The Senate Budget Committee is scheduled to meet March 25 at Rowan College of Gloucester County in Sewell.
November 6, 2014 |
Democrat Tom Wolf, a businessman from central Pennsylvania, was elected governor Tuesday in his first campaign for political office. Republican Tom Corbett became the first governor to lose a bid for reelection in the state's modern history. "We need to reestablish education as the priority," Wolf told supporters at the York Expo Center shortly after 10 p.m., after thanking Corbett for his service. He exhorted Pennsylvanians to believe in themselves and their future. "Let's make this the time," Wolf said.