May 16, 2013 |
TRENTON - In TV attack ads, politicians often put text underneath the images to indicate the sources of statistics used to skewer the opposition. But in the ad that Republican Gov. Christie has been running this week against State Sen. Barbara Buono (D., Middlesex), his expected challenger in November, the source cited is unrelated to the accusation. That is now changing. On Tuesday, The Inquirer pointed out the discrepancy to the Christie campaign. On Wednesday, campaign spokesman Kevin Roberts said, "We are adding an additional level of specificity when it comes to the source citation.
April 29, 2013
WE ALL KNOW the school district is in bad shape. But it could actually get worse, because Gov. Corbett's assumptions about revenue coming into the state have not panned out. That could jeopardize the $120 million in state aid the schools are counting on to help fill its own $300 million hole. Unlike the schools, though, the state has an easy fix for the revenue shortfall - though whether it is willing to act is another story. Corbett assumed a $250 million budget surplus that has not materialized.
March 4, 2013 |
First in an occasional series. Mayor Nutter's property tax reform has been packaged as the fix for a badly broken and unfair system of assessments, but a powerful undercurrent has also driven the long and difficult effort. Its most ardent advocates believe the Actual Value Initiative (AVI) will allow the city to finally right its notoriously business-hostile tax landscape, often blamed for Philadelphia's lagging behind other big cities in important economic categories. Advocates for a modern property tax system have been arguing for years that the city taxes the wrong things - businesses and wages.
February 6, 2013 |
WHEN Dick Yuengling bought a round of beers for more than 10,000 Philadelphians on National Drink Beer Day last year, he said "the city has truly shown our family business brotherly love, and we'd like to raise a glass to that. " Now, Dick Yuengling may be throwing back a few of his own brews after receiving a civil lawsuit from the city that claims his brewery, D.G. Yuengling and Son Inc., has failed to pay more than $6.6 million in city taxes, interest and penalty fees. How does a Pottsville-based beer company that doesn't have a brewery or a plant in Philadelphia come to owe millions in business-income and -receipts taxes to the city?
February 5, 2013
By Sharon Ward Gov. Corbett and his staff have crisscrossed the state over the past few weeks, previewing the state budget to be unveiled Tuesday. The change in style is welcome for a governor who has seemed reluctant to explain his priorities or defend his positions. Pennsylvanians also appear to be clamoring for a change in substance. A recent Quinnipiac poll shows that only 36 percent of Pennsylvanians approve of Gov. Corbett's job performance - while 46 percent disapprove. It's not a mystery that the governor's popularity tumbled after last year's budget debate: An on-time spending plan is not enough to compensate for a budget out of step with Pennsylvanians' priorities.
December 21, 2012 |
The bad news for Warrington Township, Bucks County, is that it needs to refund more than $1 million collected for a business tax that was ruled illegal this week. The good news is that the township never spent the money and is prepared to refund up to $13,000, plus interest, to each of 150 businesses, officials said Thursday. "We're ready to send the checks as soon as possible," lawyer William Casey said. "We'll be glad to get rid of that escrow account. It was a pain. " The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that a flat $2,600-a-year tax on businesses that grossed more than $1 million violated state law. A flat, or fixed, business tax is legal, but not a tax based on gross revenue.
October 11, 2012
Courage, character, and conviction Like most Penn State grads, I am ashamed of the actions of a few bureaucrats who didn't have the courage, character, and conviction to do the right thing in 2001 ("Band of brothers," Wednesday). As a result, the entire university has been judged by the actions of a few. The football program is under NCAA sanctions, which punish many who had nothing to do with the scandal. There was never a single Penn State football player involved in the scandal.
September 18, 2012
T HE DAILY NEWS People's Editorial Board is a group of nine citizens who meet every month to discuss and weigh in on the big issues facing the city. ( philly.com/philly/blogs/ peb ) This month, the board tackled business tax reform . We, the People's Editorial Board, were shocked to learn that if you are a local small business, you could be more heavily taxed by the city of Philadelphia than big out-of-state companies. We should amend that: Many of us were shocked, but some of us, who actually own and operate small businesses in the city, were not completely surprised, since we have been paying those taxes for a while.
September 15, 2012
Years of disappointing delays and controversies have kept Philadelphia from getting a fair property-tax system, but the Nutter administration is making assurances that a new assessment process will be in place in time for the next city budget. Now, City Council must pledge to enact the long overdue reform. Members cannot buckle to pressure from constituents who have benefited from an inequitable system that allowed owners of higher-priced properties to pay less than those with more modest properties.
September 7, 2012 |
MORE THAN 190,000 Philadelphians travel to the suburbs to work because the city's four major work hubs aren't big enough, according to a report released Thursday by the Center City District. The report found that the city's four major employment areas - Center City, University City, Temple University and the Navy Yard - aren't "large enough or expanding fast enough. " Philadelphia's "dependency on wage and business taxes disproportionately pushes mobile office tenants and entrepreneurs to lower-cost suburbs," the report states, adding that Philadelphia does not tax too much, but taxes the wrong things.