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
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.
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
April 22, 2014
IN A CITY where it's hard to find agreement on anything, we seem to be united in our disgust at the owners of the 100,000 tax-delinquent properties in the city. Coming up a close second is the history of noncollection of those taxes by the city - both forces leading to a dangerous decline of buildings, neighborhoods and values. Turns out that being a tax deadbeat is not the lowest you can go after all. No - that position is reserved for the officials at the Board of Revision of Taxes, who are ever-so-slowly moving their way through property-tax appeals, not because the appeals are complicated but because they don't think they need to work any faster until they get a pay raise.
BUSINESS
April 21, 2014 | By Reid Kanaley, Inquirer Columnist
Last-minute tax filers who were due money back from the Internal Revenue Service are just getting, or still awaiting, their refunds. Here are ways to decide what to do with the cash. Kiplinger.com says refunds, which average around $3,000, should go "to bolster your personal balance sheet. " First, consider giving yourself a raise, this post suggests, "by adjusting your tax withholding to increase your take-home pay. " More immediately, use the money you got back from the IRS to pay off credit-card debt, or set it aside for an emergency fund, or boost a savings, retirement, or college account.
NEWS
April 18, 2014 | By David O'Reilly, Inquirer Staff Writer
EVESHAM The Township Council has introduced a $33.64 million budget for 2015 that calls for no increase in municipal property taxes. Mayor Randy Brown told a budget workshop of the council Tuesday that the proposed budget would entail a municipal property levy of $21.83 million, fractionally smaller than this year's. He foresaw no reduction in services. The council voted unanimously to accept the proposed budget, which will be presented to the state for review. If the proposal is adopted at the council's June 10 meeting, an owner of a home assessed at the township average of $271,200 would pay about $1,139 in municipal property taxes.
NEWS
April 16, 2014 | By Michael Boren, Inquirer Staff Writer
The husband-and-wife owners of Ocean City's popular Manco & Manco pizzerias pleaded not guilty in a tax evasion case Monday. Charles Bangle, 54, and his wife, Mary, 53, are accused of concealing $981,000 in income from the IRS and using the proceeds for personal expenses. They were arrested the morning of April 3 by IRS investigators and released that day after appearing in federal court in Camden. During that hearing, a judge ordered the two to give up their passports, and Charles Bangle to hand over weapons that included 12 handguns, two shotguns, and two rifles.
BUSINESS
April 15, 2014 | By Erin E. Arvedlund, Inquirer Columnist
Most of us don't know exactly where our tax money goes; neither do we know precisely which government programs our taxes fund. But expect sticker shock from those of us socked with the new 3.8 percent net investment income tax. Most probably, you thought this tax was signed into law to fund Medicare - I mistakenly thought so. Owners of small and medium-size businesses have been particularly piqued this filing season to discover that this money does...
NEWS
April 14, 2014 | By Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
TRENTON - The Christie administration is proposing a series of "tax policy adjustments" in its next budget to "close loopholes, increase consistency, and support fairness. " But none of them, the Christie administration says, are new taxes or tax increases. Fees and adjustments are favored terms for both parties in modern political discourse. But the tax rhetoric being used by the administration is notable, in part, because the Republican governor repeatedly attacked his Democratic rival in his reelection campaign last year for voting to raise taxes and fees "154 times" in her legislative career.
NEWS
April 10, 2014
THERE is never a shortage of people trying to get rich off the poor: predatory lenders, mortgage scam artists, rent-to-own companies and other business models designed to exploit people desperate for cash. This time of year, the leading contenders for this vile practice are tax preparation services that take advantage of low- and middle-income taxpayers, charging high and unnecessary fees, employing underqualified workers who, as some watchdogs report, often resort to fraud. And April is their Christmas.
NEWS
April 10, 2014 | By Julia Terruso, Inquirer Staff Writer
CAMDEN In a surprising reversal, City Council on Tuesday night rejected an ordinance passed a year ago to grant a 20-year tax abatement to the owner of an affordable-housing complex. Council first passed the ordinance in April 2013 to give Roizman Development a 20-year PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) agreement for his Broadway Townhouses complex. A Superior Court judge ruled last month that the vote violated the state's open public meeting law because the Camden Courier-Post was not properly notified about the special meeting, held at noon on a Friday.
BUSINESS
April 8, 2014 | By Erin E. Arvedlund, Inquirer Columnist
Don't pressure yourself or your tax preparer to file your return by April 15, says a local expert. Haste creates errors, and many tax accountants and other filers extend their own and their clients' returns more often that you might expect. Filing for an extension? There's no truth that this will increase your chances of being audited, says David Zalles, a tax planner in Blue Bell. He estimates that 10 million extensions are filed each year, and the tax authorities don't have the resources to audit more than a fraction of those.
NEWS
April 5, 2014 | By Martha Woodall, Inquirer Staff Writer
Leaders from Philadelphia's charter school community on Thursday rallied outside City Hall to urge City Council to extend the extra 1 percent sales tax and use all the proceeds for schools. "I want City Council to think about this 1 percent set aside as an investment to keep families in Philadelphia," said Jurate Krokys, chief executive of American Paradigm Schools, a charter management company that runs three city charters. "Last week, principals from the district schools were here to point out the impact the budget cuts have had on their schools," said David Hardy, CEO of Boys' Latin of Philadelphia in West Philadelphia.
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