June 27, 2015 |
Atlantic City is one step closer to getting a PILOT to steer it through rough economic seas. On Thursday, the New Jersey Senate passed a rescue package, including the long-awaited PILOT - Payment in Lieu of Taxes, a new casino taxation system - and other bills aimed at stabilizing the city's dire finances. The bills, stalled since December amid political wranging and an unsettled labor situation at Trump Taj Mahal, now go to Gov. Christie. The bills have been endorsed by both the casino industry and elected officials, including Mayor Don Guardian, who has said the stabilized tax system under the new PILOT was better than defending against repeated tax appeals that have put the city near bankruptcy.
June 26, 2015 |
SEPTA managers and other nonunion employees will be required to pay more toward their pensions, and managers hired in the future will be offered smaller pensions, under a plan expected to be approved Thursday by the SEPTA board. About 1,800 supervisory, administrative, and management employees will be affected by the changes, designed to improve the "long-term financial stability" of the transit agency's pension plan, SEPTA officials said Wednesday. The move is the latest by a public employer to reduce pension costs and shift more of the expense to employees and away from taxpayers.
June 19, 2015 |
AND . . . that's a wrap! City Council yesterday held its last voting session before adjourning for summer. During the long session, members gave final approval to a sea of bills and resolutions, with "aye" votes for everything from a new lease between Philadelphia International Airport and the airlines that fly there to the city's $3.9 billion operating budget for fiscal year 2016. Among the top items on Council's agenda was a school-funding package. Council members voted in favor of a wave of tax hikes that would raise $70 million to help rescue the sinking public school district from an estimated $85 million deficit.
June 15, 2015 |
The corner of 15th and Chestnut Streets is among Center City's busiest, but on the last Friday in May, the activity inside 1515 Chestnut St. could be ranked a close second. Workers scrambled to complete everything from the 15th Street lobby to the 17th-floor amenities before Monday's grand opening of the Avenir - French for "future" - tower of 180 rental apartments in what was once the 150,000-square-foot Class B office building. Just inside the lobby entrance sat a security guard, providing 24/7 duty for the seven residents who had already moved in. "Those residents got to put on hard hats and get the first pick," said Jessica M. Scully of Scully Co., who is overseeing every detail of Avenir's debut on the apartment scene.
April 27, 2015 |
German duo: A Volkswagen sedan and a hatchback, sporting vastly different turbocharged engines, go head to head. This week: 2015 VW Jetta 1.8T SE. Price: $26,160 as tested. (The 1.8T SE started at $23,650, and added $995 for fog lights and $695 for the safety package.) Marketer's pitch: "More. With an extra helping of more. " Conventional wisdom: Edmunds.com liked the "spacious interior and trunk; good fuel economy and performance from turbocharged engines and available Jetta Hybrid," but not the "weak, inefficient base engine; high price of hybrid and diesel-powered TDI; middling handling and steering capabilities; mediocre touchscreen displays.
April 14, 2015
A LI JACKSON, 27, of Bala Cynwyd, is owner and head personal trainer of Never Give Up Training, a total-body fitness center in Manayunk that offers a variety of group fitness classes and personalized training. Jackson, an Ironman triathlete, opened her studio in March 2013. Q: How'd you come up with the idea? A: I'm a personal trainer and had taught fitness classes around Philadelphia. I realized there was a void for a studio that offered both personalized training and group activities.
December 29, 2014 |
Chris and Jillian Soriano bought and then renovated their Haddon Heights house using a Fannie Mae HomeStyle Renovation loan to finance the improvements. The couple moved into the four-bedroom, two-bathroom house last summer "knowing we were going to rip out the kitchen," said Jillian Soriano, who wanted an open-concept cooking and dining area. "I wanted to take down the wall separating the kitchen and dining room and replace it with a butcher-block island with two sets of seating," she said.
December 22, 2014 |
Who's responsible when a delivery goes awry? That's been an issue for some luckless consumers at least since the days when Sears, Roebuck & Co. pioneered mail order a century ago, and likely for clients of the Pony Express before that. Recently, it has gained urgency from the growth of delivery-dependent Internet commerce. One day, it may even be an issue when Amazon's drones target the wrong front stoop for a package drop. The key thing to remember is that delivery systems endure because, almost always, they work as promised.
December 11, 2014 |
Two of the nation's largest pay-TV operators, Comcast Corp. and Verizon Communications Inc., are marketing slimmed-down, low-cost TV bundles to young adults who might only be interested in Internet-delivered entertainment - the so-called cord-cutters. The double-play product offerings, or Internet and TV services, are part of the ferment in the pay-TV industry as YouTube, Netflix, and other Internet-delivered entertainment gain footholds with Internet-savvy millennials. Premium-network HBO and broadcast network CBS Corp.