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NEWS
January 9, 2012
With a first-year record like Gov. Corbett's, it's a good thing he still has three more years to go. Or maybe not. Another three years could give Corbett time to make some progress, at least, toward pressing issues facing the state - like fixing roads and bridges, or making natural-gas drillers pay their fair share. There even may be time to do something about handgun violence that tragically ends hundreds of Pennsylvanians' lives annually (were the governor not such a gun-rights stalwart)
NEWS
March 11, 2012 | By Jan Hefler, Inquirer Staff Writer
  There's budget trouble in Medford, an affluent Norman Rockwell suburb with two newly renovated fire halls, respected schools, and a variety of lush parks. Despite the recent economic turmoil and the township's apparently insatiable demand for amenities, its tax rate stayed flat from 2006 to 2010 and went up only slightly last year. And that is precisely why the Burlington County community now faces a financial emergency, say leaders of the five-member, all-Republican Town Council and a chorus of budget experts.
NEWS
March 11, 2010
MAYOR NUTTER is constantly crying poor and trying to charge taxpayers more fees or provide fewer services. His new plan is to charge a weekly trash fee to help the city raise needed funds. Then, in the same day's paper is an article on Nutter appointing a former city official to a position heading the Office of Economic Opportunity. In plain English, this position is aimed at getting 25 percent of all city contracts to go to minority- or female-owned businesses. But the real kicker is that her salary will be $135,000.
NEWS
September 1, 1990
For a country that's short of cash and repelled by Wall Street greed, this proposal sounds like a winner: Tax the sale of stocks and bonds. At a penny for every $2 worth of securities, such a levy would bring in about $12 billion a year. And it would fall most heavily on the fast-buck artists who buy and sell securities for speculative gain, not long-term investment. Or so the pitch goes. Unfortunately, even though the tax sounds small, it probably would jolt financial markets.
NEWS
May 15, 2011 | By Dan Hardy and John P. Martin, Inquirer Staff Writers
Facing what some see as the most dire funding crisis in decades, school districts across the region are proposing cuts that could drastically reshape their programs and communities. In district after district, officials have proposed budgets notable for what's missing: busing, kindergarten, athletics, librarians, languages, gym classes. Thousands of area school employees are likely to lose jobs, even as taxes in their districts rise. "This is unlike anything we've seen in the last 50 years," said Lou DeVlieger, superintendent of Upper Darby School District, which plans to cut 47 jobs, draw $4 million from reserves, and raise taxes 2.7 percent.
NEWS
May 9, 2015 | By Tricia L. Nadolny, Inquirer Staff Writer
Rentals through Airbnb, the online marketplace where people can list their homes for short-term stays, could soon be taxed in Philadelphia. The Nutter administration is making the push ahead of the September visit of Pope Francis, when home rentals are expected to be in high demand. "People are bringing in money on this and, at least in the pope's visit, bringing in a decent amount of money," said City Councilman William K. Greenlee, who introduced a bill Thursday on behalf of the Nutter administration to regulate and tax short-term rentals.
NEWS
April 12, 2010
MANY have debated the mayor's proposed sugar-sweetened beverage tax, but it would be illegal. Pennsylvania law specifically bans the city from taxing an item that the state already taxes. As anyone who's picked up a six-pack of soda in a supermarket knows, Pennsylvania taxes ALL soft drinks at 6 percent, sugar sweetened or not. Like the state sales tax, the proposed sugar tax would fall on the consumer. If this tax were enacted, we'd pay separate taxes on the same item. In fact, the city designed this tax to fall on the consumer, claiming the goal is to change buying behavior.
NEWS
January 4, 1990 | By Brigette ReDavid, Special to The Inquirer
Narberth's 1990 operating budget of about $1.5 million will require no tax increase after all. According to borough manager William Martin, the 3.28-mill tax increase that had been proposed was offset by unanticipated revenue, including a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to pick up 75 percent of the $80,000 estimated cost of renovating and building an addition to the borough library. Martin said the borough also received about $80,000 not originally figured into the proposed 1990 budget in reimbursement for compensation pay for a police officer out of work since 1984.
NEWS
December 5, 2013 | BY SEAN COLLINS WALSH, Daily News Staff Writer walshSE@phillynews.com, 215-854-4172
THERE'S A NEW real-estate tax loophole for Philadelphians - and you don't need to be a millionaire to take advantage of it. To limit the huge increases some residents are seeing under the Actual Value Initiative tax-reform effort, the city is launching the Longtime Owner Occupants Program, or LOOP. "I do not create these acronyms, but I think this one is quite interesting," Mayor Nutter said while announcing the program yesterday with City Council members. The program will benefit lower-income homeowners who have been in their homes for at least 10 years and saw their property assessments increase by 300 percent or more this year.
NEWS
October 29, 2008
EVERY potential voter has heard by now that, as president, Barack Obama is going to give a middle-class tax cut and tax subsidies to 95 percent of Americans. These will be funded by income-tax increases on the country's richest 5 percent, in addition to hikes on the capital-gains tax, dividends tax, death tax, payroll tax and windfall-profits tax. You'd think that if 95 percent of Americans would save (or possibly make) money from electing Obama, he would be polling at 95 percent.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
July 21, 2015 | By Claudia Vargas, Inquirer Staff Writer
Moments after buying some Advil and bottled water at a Suburban Station newsstand, Serena Starnes realized that she was out of cigarettes. She quickly went back and paid $9.50 for a pack of Newports. Had Starnes been in the suburbs, she would have paid much less because of the city's $2-a-pack tax earmarked for city schools. The extra $2 stings, but at least the money is going to help educate her children, the unemployed barber said. "It's good because it's going toward the schools," the mother of nine said.
NEWS
July 16, 2015
THE GREAT WHITE Whale of Pennsylvania politics, the property tax, is swimming away from yet another effort to kill or curtail it. This despite Gov. Wolf and Republicans saying they want reform and want it now and, my goodness, how historic it'll be. Yet this bipartisan goal, presenting opportunity for bipartisan credit, is poised to join many other reforms in a capital city known best as a graveyard of good ideas. Why? Tradition and politics. The tax is regressive and loathed; unfair to those on fixed incomes; complex due to uneven assessments across 67 counties; challenging for poorer school districts struggling to raise local money; and wildly different across the state.
NEWS
July 15, 2015 | By Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - Gov. Wolf emerged from closed-door budget talks Monday saying he was "stunned" by what he called "the continued intransigence" of a top Republican legislator opposed to a new tax on natural-gas drillers. Wolf said House Speaker Mike Turzai (R., Allegheny), one of the legislature's most vocal opponents of the severance tax proposal, "would rather do good things for his friends in the oil and gas industry than help find a way to fund schools. " "We are not going to have a good future in Pennsylvania until we figure out how to fund schools," the governor said.
NEWS
July 14, 2015
THE FIRING OF teacher Margie Winters by Waldron Mercy Academy in Merion on the basis of Winters' marriage to another woman comes at a time that guaranteed this to be a hot-button issue. It's just weeks after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the legality of gay marriage, and months away from a visit from the pope, who is known for his messages of love, forgiveness and his suggestion of tolerance for gays. Layer this on top of many Catholics struggling to reconcile their faith against decades of church scandals involving child abuse by priests.
NEWS
July 13, 2015 | By Angela Couloumbis and Sam Janesch, Inquirer Staff Writers
HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania's nearly two-week budget impasse comes down to one word: Taxes. Throughout negotiations, Democratic Gov. Wolf has uttered the dreaded T-word that Republicans who control the legislature have studiously spent the last four years avoiding. Personal income taxes. Sales taxes. Cigarette taxes. Bank shares taxes. A tax on natural gas drillers. Wolf has proposed hiking them all to erase what has become a recurring deficit in every budget cycle, raise more money for public schools, and finance a bold but controversial plan to lower property taxes in every district.
BUSINESS
July 12, 2015 | By Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer
The shale gas industry and allies of Gov. Wolf ratcheted up rhetoric this week over a key component of the state's stalemated budget debate: Imposition of a severance tax on natural gas production. The Marcellus Shale Coalition says the proposed tax is the harshest in a series of hostile actions the Wolf administration has taken against the gas industry, one of the state's better-performing economic sectors in the last decade. "Since Gov. Wolf was elected, he has been talking about this industry being successful, but his actions really don't match the words," said David Spigelmyer, president of the coalition.
NEWS
July 12, 2015 | By Tricia L. Nadolny, Inquirer Staff Writer
The city controller on Friday rejected Philadelphia's five-year budget and called on the city's state-appointed fiscal watchdog to do the same, saying the plan overestimates tax revenues and could lead to a deficit. Controller Alan Butkovitz said the budget makes flawed estimates for the business income and receipts tax, sales tax, real estate transfer tax, and parking tax. In asking the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority (PICA) to reject the budget, Butkovitz said economic conditions are predicted to be less favorable over the next few years than the city's projections.
NEWS
July 11, 2015 | By Maddie Hanna, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
A call-center company that promises to create more than 300 jobs in the Atlantic City area is among the recipients of tax credits handed out by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority on Thursday. Atlantic City Contact Center received close to $33 million in tax credits, spread over 10 years. The subsidiary of Hollygold Associates - which has a center in the Philippines that takes calls for infomercial and catalog businesses - had also been considering a location outside Las Vegas.
NEWS
July 10, 2015 | By Maddie Hanna, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
A project in Atlantic City could be awarded close to $33 million in tax credits when the New Jersey Economic Development Authority board meets Thursday. The EDA didn't give details Wednesday about the applicant, Atlantic City Contact Center L.L.C., or the project. A spokeswoman said she could not comment before Thursday's meeting. The meeting agenda says the tax credits - $3.27 million a year over 10 years - would encourage the applicant to "make a capital investment and locate in Atlantic City.
NEWS
July 10, 2015 | BY RANDALL BALMER
AMID ALL the overheated rhetoric surrounding the Supreme Court's decision legalizing same-sex marriages across the nation, evangelicals have alternated between defiance and a kind of martyrdom. "It's time to be a light in these dark times," Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family, said. Franklin Graham declared that the court was "endorsing sin" and that God's "decisions are not subject to review or revision by any man-made court. " Echoing many other conservatives, Graham went on to say that churches and others who oppose same-sex marriage would be subject to discrimination and persecution.
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