FEATURED ARTICLES
NEWS
July 31, 2014 | By Joseph N. DiStefano, Inquirer Staff Writer
Vanguard Group Inc. stands atop the mutual fund business, and credits its "unique" structure: The largest mutual fund company is owned, not by for-profit investors, but by more than 100 of Vanguard's own mutual funds, which are owned by millions of clients. Vanguard says this frees managers to "focus on keeping costs as low as possible," passing savings to clients through lower fees for investment advice and other support services. Vanguard's singular model is now under scrutiny.
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
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
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
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
August 28, 2014 | By Harold Brubaker, Inquirer Staff Writer
The closure of three Atlantic City casinos by mid-September will wipe $2 billion from property-tax values next year, exacerbating the financial plight of the already cash-strapped city, Mayor Don Guardian warned Tuesday. By 2017, Guardian said on a conference call to discuss Atlantic City's way forward as a center of tourism, property values are expected to have fallen as low as $7.5 billion, from $20 billion five years ago. In the short term, Guardian said, the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs has made money "available for some bridge loans to make sure that the city continues functioning with this year's budget because of any concern that we might have that a casino's closing, going bankrupt, might hold off payments.
NEWS
August 26, 2014
TALKING TAXES can be taxing, especially when running for office. Perhaps you recall what turned out to be troublesome tax-talk by Democrat Walter Mondale and Republican George H.W. Bush. Well, we've got similar situations in Pennsylvania's race for governor. Gov. Corbett last week told the Associated Press that he kept the no-new-taxes pledge he signed as a 2010 candidate. Actually, he said, "I'm living up to my pledge the best I can. " Technically, true. Then again, he's presumably doing everything the best he can, which is why he's considered to be the most vulnerable incumbent governor in America.
NEWS
August 18, 2014 | By Troy Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
When Richard Gliniak and Alan Taylor bought their Carpenter Street houses more than a decade ago, the now-trendy Graduate Hospital neighborhood was still mired in crime and violence. "This was a major drug-dealing area," Gliniak said recently, sitting in his neatly appointed living room. "First month I was here, I looked out the window and three guys were shooting," added Taylor, who said his wife was so discouraged she wanted to give up and move. Gliniak and Taylor were among about six homeowners who bought near 19th and Carpenter Streets through a program for low- and moderate-income residents.
NEWS
August 15, 2014
CONGRATULATIONS to the Federal Trade Commission for its latest action that resulted in the closing of a company that was taking advantage of consumers looking for relief from their tax debts. The agency is giving back $16 million in refunds to more than 18,000 customers of American Tax Relief, which advertised heavily on TV, radio and the Internet. The company promised taxpayers overwhelmed with debts to the Internal Revenue Service that it could significantly reduce their burden.
NEWS
August 13, 2014 | By Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
Whether city public schools begin on time is still an open question, even after a "positive" meeting Monday between the superintendent and a top Harrisburg leader. House Majority Leader Mike Turzai (R., Allegheny) traveled to Philadelphia for the closed-door, hour-long talk with Superintendent William R. Hite Jr., which he called "a goodwill mission. " Hite characterized the meeting as "very helpful" but said it did not affect the Philadelphia School District's bottom line - it has an $81 million deficit, and badly needs the money that would come from a $2-per-pack cigarette tax that lawmakers were supposed to have voted on last week.
NEWS
August 8, 2014 | By Vernon Clark, Inquirer Staff Writer
In a tucked-away corner of West Mount Airy, officials of a longtime cultural center have been concerned that the sound of bagpipes and the rhythmic clatter of Irish dancing could go silent. Citing financial concerns, leaders of the Commodore John Barry Irish Center, a focal point in the region for all things Irish, from music and dancing to art and history, said it had come close to being forced to shut down. Sean McMenamin, a board member at the center at 6815 Emlen St., said the convergence this winter of increased city taxes, higher-than-usual heating bills, and required upgrades to its 10,000-square-foot, two-story building had put the center in a precarious financial situation.
NEWS
August 3, 2014 | By Ben Finley, Chris Hepp, and Troy Graham, Inquirer Staff Writers
Gov. Corbett took a step Friday to revive the imperiled proposal for a cigarette tax that would help fund Philadelphia schools, but legislators signaled that they were not likely to reconsider the measure before next month. Corbett's office said the governor had scheduled a meeting Monday with leaders from the Republican-controlled House and Senate to discuss both the $2-per-pack levy for Philadelphia and pension reform - two unresolved issues that were sticking points in budget negotiations last month.
NEWS
August 2, 2014 | By Angela Couloumbis and Martha Woodall, Inquirer Staff Writers
HARRISBURG - Legislators on Thursday canceled a vote on a new cigarette tax for Philadelphia, casting doubt on whether the city's schools would be able to safely open on time in September. Ending days of rumors about the collapse of a hard-fought funding deal to again rescue Philadelphia schools, leaders in the Republican-controlled House announced they would not reconvene as planned next week to vote on the bill to authorize a $2-per-pack tax. City officials were counting on the money to close an $81 million budget gap. Instead, the chamber will return when its summer break ends Sept.
NEWS
August 1, 2014
OF COURSE it's too much trouble for the members of the state House to come back to work Monday in order to finish the work they left behind in June - primarily resolving the $2-a-pack cigarette tax that the city needs in order to close the $81 million school funding gap. Due in part to the fact some House members said they had scheduled a vacation that they couldn't or wouldn't move, the resolution to how the schools will open in the fall will...
NEWS
August 1, 2014 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Inquirer Staff Writer
William G. O'Neill, 88, a longtime Philadelphia tax lawyer and a founder of Waverly Heights, one of the first continuing-care communities in the Philadelphia area, died Tuesday, July 29, from complications of a stroke at Waverly Heights in Gladwyne. Until 1992, when he left to found his own firm, Mr. O'Neill was a managing partner of the Philadelphia law firm Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel. His niche was tax law, and he wrote, taught, and lectured widely on the topic. But he broke ground in the mid-1980s when he saw a need to establish a new type of community that would cater to the growing number of wealthy seniors on the Main Line and elsewhere.
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