FEATURED ARTICLES
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
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
August 24, 2010 | By Robert Moran, Inquirer Staff Writer
Philadelphia was once again the subject of head-scratching and ridicule on Monday, this time with the "blog tax" controversy. On BuzzFeed, a popular website for stories, photos, and video competing to go viral, "Philadelphia Blogger's License: $300" was in the running, in between videos of a bored cat having a birthday party and Lady Gaga dancing at a Kiss concert. New York magazine's website weighed in, as did the Washington Post's. The New York Daily News had a story about "Cash-strapped Philly" resorting to a blog "tax.
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
BUSINESS
February 23, 2015 | By Joseph N. DiStefano, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Internal Revenue Service and the Securities and Exchange Commission are still reviewing allegations that Vanguard Group Inc.'s unusual business structure operates in violation of federal tax law, according to attorneys for former Vanguard tax lawyer David Danon , who brought the allegations to the agencies' attention in 2013. The IRS and SEC have not announced complaints against Malvern-based Vanguard and don't comment on possible ongoing investigations. Vanguard spokesman John Woerth declined to comment.
NEWS
February 22, 2015 | By Robert Calandra, For The Inquirer
Welcome to the first post-Affordable Care Act tax season, complete with new forms to fill out - the 1095-A! - and even more numbers to crunch. That is, if you bought health insurance last year on the Obamacare marketplace. "If you got a 1095-A form and you got the advance credit [subsidy], you must file a tax return," said Jackie Perlman, principal tax research analyst at H&R Block's Tax Institute. Well, not so fast. About 800,000 forms sent out by the government contained an error, the administration said Friday; it urged recipients to hold off filing for now. (More on that mess below.)
NEWS
February 20, 2015 | By Harold Brubaker, Inquirer Staff Writer
ATLANTIC CITY - Financial pressure on Atlantic City will intensify this year as taxable real estate values are expected to plummet to $7.35 billion from more than $11 billion last year. But instead of sharply raising the tax rate as the city has done in each of the last two years to keep revenues stable, the city is taking a sharper scalpel than ever to its operations, Mayor Don Guardian said Wednesday evening in his State of the City address before the City Council. "This year we have no intention of doing that," Guardian said, referring to boosting the property-tax rate.
NEWS
February 20, 2015
THE NEWS about Center City and environs continues to be good. And since 55 percent of all the jobs in Philadelphia are located in the downtown area and University City, what's good for Center City tends to be good for the city generally. A new report from the Center City District confirms that new housing continues to grow steadily. Last year, the CCD said, 1,983 new units were brought to market - of which 442 were single-family homes. The prognosis for continued growth over the next five years looks good, as more younger people move into the city or decide to buy homes.
NEWS
February 13, 2015 | By Michaelle Bond and Amy Worden, Inquirer Staff Writers
With public sentiment behind him and a deficit on the horizon, Gov. Wolf on Wednesday unveiled his plan to impose on natural gas drilling a 5 percent tax that he said could generate $1 billion for the state's public schools. Bracing for pushback from the legislature, Wolf said lawmakers should follow the lead of pro-business states that have imposed drilling taxes amid the gas-industry boom. "This is the best thing that could happen to the industry, because it's going to make all of us in Pennsylvania partners in the success of this industry," Wolf said at a news conference at a Chester County elementary school.
NEWS
February 9, 2015 | Inquirer Editorial Board
However history remembers Mayor Nutter, it won't be as a tax warrior. His administration has seen increases in Philadelphia's sales tax, property tax, parking tax, hotel tax, and business use and occupancy tax; the introduction of a city cigarette tax; a suspension of wage-tax reductions; and unsuccessful efforts to raise the tax on alcoholic drinks, create a tax on soda, and even impose the amusement tax on lap dances. The attempted "pole tax" on strippers aside, taxation isn't a sexy subject for those hoping to succeed Nutter.
NEWS
February 9, 2015 | By Suzette Parmley, Inquirer Staff Writer
The wrath of Hurricane Sandy and Atlantic City's financial meltdown left many Shore towns with among the highest property-tax increases in the state over the last five years. Atlantic County had the greatest increase in property-tax bills - 34 percent - from 2009 to 2014, according to an annual report from the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs released last week. Ocean County property-tax rates went up an average of 14 percent. But the average property-tax bill in Point Pleasant Beach rose 22 percent, and the town of Long Beach had a 21 percent increase.
NEWS
February 3, 2015
WE SUPPORT newly elected governor Tom Wolf for restoring a moratorium on natural-gas hydraulic fracturing (fracking) on state parklands. His action last week reversed a move by Gov. Tom Corbett, a guy who never met a fracker he didn't like, who lifted an earlier ban on the activity less than a year ago. Allowing fracking in state parks was not so much letting the fox into the henhouse, but cooking the chicken and frying the eggs for him. And while...
BUSINESS
February 2, 2015 | By Reid Kanaley, Inquirer Columnist
It's the season for filing your 2014 tax return - and time to know how the tax laws have changed for 2015. Knowing what's new now can save you lots of money, and possibly a lot grief, in the long run. Here's a one-stop shop for tax-code changes to be aware of. Forbes.com lays out some easy-to-read tables showing the 2015 tax rates on incomes for individuals, married couples, trusts, and so forth. The page is one of the handiest out there, with summaries of changes such as new higher personal exemptions and standard deductions, and limits on itemized deductions for high earners.
NEWS
January 29, 2015
SHOULD the School Reform Commission be dissolved in favor of an elected school board? Newly elected Gov. Wolf supports the idea. So does a group of vocal education activists in the city. Some mayoral candidates are on board with the idea. The teachers union would vastly prefer an elected board to the governance system we have now - especially after the School Reform Commission's recent attempt to cancel union contracts, a move blocked last week by Commonwealth Court. Despite support from some quarters, it's not a sure thing.
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