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 |
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 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 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.
November 21, 2010 |
There are winners and losers in a City Council proposal to change Philadelphia's onerous business taxes. The losers are organizing. The bill, introduced by City Council members Bill Green and Maria Quiñones Sánchez this fall after more than a year's research, would cut the Business Privilege Tax levy on profits and replace it with an increase in the "gross-receipts" tax, which businesses pay on their sales - whether they make money or...
October 1, 2010 |
A major effort to overhaul the city tax code took a small step forward Thursday as City Council members Bill Green and Maria Quiñones Sánchez introduced a bill to restructure business taxes. Their proposal is expected to encounter vigorous debate, as Philadelphia's business community has yet to weigh in on whether it supports the bill. Green and Quiñones Sánchez say their bill would encourage more businesses to locate in Philadelphia. Their legislation would phase out the net-income portion of the business-privilege tax over five years from its current level of 6.45 percent.
September 30, 2010 |
WHEN JOE WEISS, chairman of the software-design firm Electronic Ink, heard about business-tax legislation cooked up by two freshman City Council members, he was shocked. "When I heard the proposal, I was incredulous," said Weiss, whose Center City firm employs 80 people. And for good reason. Council members Bill Green and Maria Quinones-Sanchez have been working on a plan that would reverse a 14-year effort to reduce a tax on businesses' gross receipts. But after a conversation with Green, Weiss has come around, at least part of the way. "I talked to the councilman and I listened to his explanation, and now I have an open mind to listen," said Weiss.
August 15, 2010 |
How should the City of Philadelphia tax companies within its borders? Right now, it charges two "business privilege" taxes: It demands $6.45 of every $100 of a company's profits, the so-called net-income tax. It also takes 14 cents on every $100 of total sales, the gross-receipts tax. These business taxes are slapped on top of city property taxes and other local levies. For a generation, Philadelphia business taxpayers, their lawyers, and the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce have targeted the gross-receipts tax as unfair and discouraging to employers, says city Finance Director Rob Dubow.