July 16, 2016
The Pennsylvania budget passed a mere 13 days late this week. That's a lot better than nine months overdue, a record that Gov. Wolf and the legislature seared into the books in vitriol earlier this year. This time, the Democratic governor and Republican-controlled legislature beat low expectations by working together to pass a budget that, though defective, qualifies as both a spending and a revenue plan. For the revenue, they tapped a few untested and even dubious sources, including a loan from the state malpractice-insurance fund.
July 7, 2016 |
HARRISBURG - After failing to enact a state budget on time, Gov. Wolf and the Republican-controlled legislature now find themselves working against a new deadline. The two sides have until midnight Monday to reach consensus on how to pay for the $31.5 billion spending plan that lawmakers sent Wolf last week. If there is no agreement by then, the Democratic governor will have to decide whether to partially - or fully - veto the proposal. Wolf has signaled that he cannot sign a budget without having secured a deal on how to finance it. The new fiscal year began July 1, and all sides are trying to avoid last year's bruising budget stalemate that held up critical funds to public schools and nonprofit organizations offering social services.
June 28, 2016 |
HARRISBURG - With four days until the deadline for a state budget - and the memory of last year's impasse still raw - Gov. Wolf and the Republican-dominated legislature have no deal and no face-to-face talks scheduled, and have shown little evidence of the political will for election-year tax hikes. Legislators left the Capitol on Thursday without even resolving a basic question: how much money they plan to spend in the fiscal year that begins July 1, let alone how much new revenue they need to raise and where it will come from.
June 12, 2016 |
New Jersey lawmakers made a renewed push Friday to replenish the state's fund for road, bridge, and rail projects, which is expected to run out of money over the summer. One plan would likely raise the state's gas tax, currently the second lowest in the nation at 14.5 cents per gallon, to 37.5 cents per gallon. A gallon of regular gasoline in New Jersey cost an average of $2.15 on Friday, according to the consumer group AAA. Senate Budget Chairman Paul Sarlo (D., Bergen) and Sen. Steve Oroho (R., Sussex)
December 18, 2013
ONE OF THE longest stories ever told is the story of tax reform in this city. Few disagree about the need to overhaul antiquated tax structures that punish growth, but finding consensus on how to change is more complicated. Changing the property-tax structure, for example, which finally resulted in the Actual Value Initiative, took more than a decade. Business-tax reform is no exception, but it looks as if there may be progress there - if a bill co-sponsored by Council members Bill Green and Maria Quinones-Sanchez advances when Council returns next year.
December 15, 2010
IN RECENT WEEKS, there has been robust public discussion regarding the proposed legislation by Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez and Councilman Bill Green that would recalibrate the Business Privilege Tax (BPT). We applaud them, and City Council, for bringing focus and discussion to this matter. The fact that Council's Committee of the Whole spent almost two days of public hearings on this matter is an excellent first step toward reforming the city's tax policy, to spur economic recovery.
December 15, 2010 |
A bill to turn the city's business-tax structure on its head is dead for now, as its Council sponsors agreed Tuesday to instead work with the Nutter administration in the hope of preserving at least some of their ideas. A critical Council committee hearing scheduled for Wednesday has been postponed indefinitely, and Mayor Nutter has scheduled an afternoon news conference instead. In a letter to City Council members Bill Green and Maria Quiñones Sánchez Tuesday, Nutter's chief of staff, Clay Armbrister, outlined the areas of agreement that the two camps would collaborate on. Those include finding a way to exempt the first $100,000 of a company's sales from taxes and close loopholes that allow national corporations and out-of-town companies to avoid paying city business privilege taxes even as they do business in Philadelphia.
December 2, 2010 |
A committee vote on the radical business-tax proposal put forth by two freshman City Council members has been delayed until Dec. 15. Marathon hearings were held this week on legislation from members Bill Green and Maria Quinones-Sanchez that would shift the business-tax burden from the net-income tax, which taxes profits, to the gross-receipts tax, which taxes sales. The Council members argue that the legislation - which would exempt a business' first $100,000 in sales - would benefit Philadelphia-based companies and small businesses.
December 1, 2010 |
A dramatic shift in business-tax policy could either wreak havoc with the Philadelphia economy or eliminate historical inequities and make the city's economy blossom, witnesses said Tuesday at an epic City Council hearing. A bill by Council members Maria Quiñones Sánchez and Bill Green to flip the city's business-tax structure, and its current tax-overhaul strategy, got a lengthy airing over seven hours of testimony from two dozen witnesses. The hearing will continue Wednesday. After Tuesday's session, Green and Sánchez said they had proved their most important point - that the change would benefit Philadelphia-based businesses at the expense of out-of-town companies.
November 23, 2010 |
A battle is brewing over the best way to tax businesses in Philadelphia. Next week, City Council will hold hearings on a bill authored by members Bill Green and Maria Quinones-Sanchez that would shift the business-tax burden from the net-income tax, which taxes profits, to the gross-receipts tax, which taxes sales. The Council members, who have been working on the legislation for more than two years, argue that this method would spread the tax burden more fairly and remove the disincentive to locate a business in Philadelphia.