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
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.
NEWS
May 28, 1996 | Daily News Wire Services
A day after Sen. Bob Dole was said to be poised to unveil a dramatic package of measures to cut and simplify taxes, the Republican presidential candidate courted blue-collar, swing voters in the battleground state of New Jersey. "I think he is going to do something very bold," magazine publisher Steve Forbes, a former Dole rival and a leading proponent of the flat tax, said over the weekend on NBC's "Meet the Press. " During the primary campaign, Forbes had run advertisements criticizing Dole's past votes for higher taxes and his lack of a tax reform plan.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
August 14, 2015 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
A TAX PREPARER who falsely listed foster and disabled kids as dependents on clients' tax returns, defrauding the IRS of millions of dollars, was sentenced yesterday to seven years, 10 months in federal prison. Dauda Koroma, 43, worked at Medmans Financial Services in Southwest Philly. He was one of nine people charged in the case. Koroma, a citizen of Sierra Leone, pleaded guilty in October to charges of conspiracy, filing false tax returns, fraud and aggravated identity theft.
NEWS
August 12, 2015 | By Allison Steele, Inquirer Staff Writer
The New Jersey Economic Development Authority will consider requests Tuesday from two companies seeking tax incentives in exchange for putting down roots in Camden. Chef'd, a California-based company that provides customers with recipes and ingredients for cooking gourmet meals, has requested $19 million in tax credits over 10 years to locate in Camden. A second company, Great Socks, has requested $15 million in credits over a 10-year period. More information about the projects will be made available Tuesday.
NEWS
August 7, 2015 | BY JENNIFER WRIGHT, Daily News Staff Writer wrightj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5938
AS IF THE thought of paying $1.7 million in restitution to the IRS weren't enough of a shock, a Delaware County man sentenced yesterday lost his footing and hit his head on the defense table in federal court. William Frio, 59, of Springfield Township, was sentenced to five years in prison for his part in a money-skimming and tax-evasion scheme as the accountant for the Nifty Fifty's restaurant chain. Despite the brief commotion, Frio's attorney Michael Engle reported that his client was checked out by a medic from the Marshals' Office, but did not lose consciousness or go to the hospital.
NEWS
August 7, 2015 | By Claudia Vargas, Inquirer Staff Writer
The city might have to use some of the $2 million it earned in a tax lien sale this summer to buy back some of the very liens it sold. Since the dust settled from the June 29 tax lien sale, city government has been getting backlash from some of the 218 Philadelphia property owners whose liens were sold - specifically, that they should not have been. For instance, the Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police lodge says it was waiting to hear back on tax abatement and exemption applications when it received notice that the lien on its headquarters at 11630 Caroline Rd. had been sold.
NEWS
August 2, 2015 | By Cat Coyle, Inquirer Staff Writer
Just in time to save his house from sheriff's sale, tax protester Steven Piotrowski said, he decided to cave in and pay his $831.60 property-tax bill. With 83,160 pennies. It turned out to be harder than he thought. After he visited 15 banks in three days, he did gather about 50,000 of the copper coins. That was enough to pay $500 of the $831.60 levy, plus liens, on his 480-square-foot manufactured home in Lower Providence Township, Montgomery County. And although he had to compromise and throw in some nickels, dimes, and even - gasp - dollars to pay his bill Friday, he said he believes he made his point: Property taxes constitute "financial slavery," forcing him to pay for a public-school system he doesn't support.
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.
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