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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
July 2, 2014 | By Maddie Hanna and Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
TRENTON - In an anticipated move, Gov. Christie on Monday vetoed key components of the $34.1 billion budget passed last week by Democratic lawmakers, leaving a spending plan without an income tax increase on the wealthy - and a smaller payment into the state pension system - in place for the fiscal year beginning Tuesday. Christie nixed a three-year tax increase on income over $1 million and a one-year surcharge on the corporation business tax, saying the increases would hurt the economy.
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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BUSINESS
July 20, 2014 | By Joseph N. DiStefano, Inquirer Staff Writer
Along both branches of Pennsylvania's Brandywine Creek - in 24 hilly communities west of Philadelphia - about 37,000 acres have been marked off-limits to development. Part is public parkland; most is owned by private landowners who have given up development rights in exchange for lower property taxes and other incentives. The acreage covers nearly a quarter of the land in those communities, an area four times the size of Philadelphia's park system, including Fairmount Park . Is it enough?
NEWS
July 18, 2014 | By Troy Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
For the second time, the Nutter administration has lost a bid to tax the money exotic dancers earn from giving "lap dances" - a move that could have cost three of Philadelphia's biggest strip clubs as much as $1.5 million. The administration first was rebuffed in October by the city's Tax Review Board, and on Wednesday, a Common Pleas Court judge upheld the board's decision. The city has 30 days to appeal the latest decision. City Solicitor Shelley R. Smith said she did not know whether an appeal would be filed.
NEWS
July 18, 2014 | BY SEAN COLLINS WALSH, Daily News Staff Writer walshSE@phillynews.com, 215-854-4172
THE COURT has spoken: There shall not be taxation with gyration. Ruling from the bench after a brief hearing, Common Pleas Judge Ellen Ceisler yesterday morning rejected the city's attempt to impose a tax on lap dances in strip clubs. Mayor Nutter's administration was appealing a decision by the Nutter-appointed Tax Review Board, which said the city's applying the amusement tax - 5 percent on admission charges - to lap dances at certain strip clubs was inappropriate. Ceisler sided with lawyers for the strip joints, who argued that they already pay the amusement tax on cover charges, that "interior activities" are not subject to the tax and that the city was applying the tax inconsistently.
BUSINESS
July 15, 2014 | By Erin E. Arvedlund, Inquirer Columnist
Summer camp gives you a mental break. Sending your child to day camp might also provide a tax deduction. Local accounting firm Isdaner & Associates notes that day camp is a qualified expense under the child and dependent care credit, which is worth 20 percent of qualifying expenses (more if your adjusted gross income is less than $43,000), subject to a cap. For 2014, the maximum expenses allowed for the credit are $3,000 for one qualifying child and $6,000 for two or more. Be aware: overnight camp doesn't qualify for the credit.
NEWS
July 14, 2014 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
What do higher gasoline taxes pay for? In Washington, the question has taken on increased urgency as Congress looks for ways to keep the federal Highway Trust Fund from running out of money in 80 days. And in Southeastern Pennsylvania, answers are already coming in, as transportation planners add $11 billion for highway, bridge, and transit projects that will be paid for largely by higher state gas taxes. Sens. Bob Corker (R., Tenn.) and Chris Murphy (D., Conn.) have proposed raising the federal gasoline tax by 12 cents a gallon over two years and linking it to inflation.
NEWS
July 12, 2014
ISSUE | PA. BUDGET Bad tax habits An additional $2 tax per pack of cigarettes would be a huge mistake ("Endless summer," July 10). Such a tax would add more than $700 a year for a one-pack-a-day smoker. Yes, it would encourage some smokers to quit or reduce their habit. But most would suck it up; such is the addictive grip of smoking. Instead of enacting a more fair and equitable increase in the income tax, or even the sales tax, the smoking tax also would be highly regressive.
NEWS
July 12, 2014 | By Maddie Hanna, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
New Jersey officials on Thursday approved $260 million in tax credits for an Evesham-based power-plant supplier to build a manufacturing plant on the Camden waterfront. The deal for Holtec International, said to be one of the largest tax-credit awards ever granted by the state, is expected to create 235 jobs and retain 160, said the state Economic Development Authority. Erin Gold, an authority spokeswoman, said it was the state's understanding that the 160 jobs would be relocated from Evesham, where the company has its headquarters.
NEWS
July 11, 2014 | By Amy Worden and Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - Philadelphia was one Senate vote away from winning its $2-per-pack cigarette tax in the General Assembly on Tuesday. But after a late-hour lobbying effort by tobacco manufacturers, the senators jammed in a provision setting a five-year expiration for the tax. So, despite the prospect of delayed public school openings and hundreds of layoffs, the bill was sent back to the House, which had departed for its summer break and may not...
NEWS
July 11, 2014 | By Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
If there is no cigarette-tax agreement in Harrisburg by Aug. 15, Philadelphia School Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. said Wednesday, he will have to lay off employees and consider a delay in the opening of schools. "There's a lot of uncertainty around what our next move is," Hite said. The state Senate passed an amended cigarette-tax bill this week, but the legislation requires House approval. The House is out on summer recess and is not scheduled to return until a special session called for Aug. 4. Even then, passage is not assured.
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