FEATURED ARTICLES
NEWS
September 18, 2014 | By Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - The Pennsylvania House could vote as early as Wednesday to authorize Philadelphia to impose a $2-per-pack tax on cigarettes to raise money for its cash-starved schools. The proposed tax had been caught in a legislative logjam since the summer, but appears on a fast track to Gov. Corbett's desk. The measure was approved Tuesday by the House Rules Committee, and is likely to be voted on by the full House on Wednesday or Monday. The bill would then be sent to the Senate, where legislative leaders have said it remains high on their priority list.
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.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
September 18, 2014 | By Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - The Pennsylvania House could vote as early as Wednesday to authorize Philadelphia to impose a $2-per-pack tax on cigarettes to raise money for its cash-starved schools. The proposed tax had been caught in a legislative logjam since the summer, but appears on a fast track to Gov. Corbett's desk. The measure was approved Tuesday by the House Rules Committee, and is likely to be voted on by the full House on Wednesday or Monday. The bill would then be sent to the Senate, where legislative leaders have said it remains high on their priority list.
NEWS
September 17, 2014 | By Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
With tens of millions of dollars and more than 1,000 Philadelphia School District jobs on the line, all eyes shifted to Harrisburg on Monday as lawmakers returned from their summer break. District leaders say they need a $2-per-pack cigarette tax passed quickly to help fill an $81 million deficit, and prevent mass layoffs and larger class sizes. Philadelphia officials said they would keep the pressure on high until the tax is passed. Mayor Nutter, a familiar face in the state Capitol in recent months, plans to travel to Harrisburg again this week.
NEWS
September 16, 2014 | By Amy Worden and Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - It's do-or-die for a new cigarette tax to help Philadelphia schools, as well as scores of other bills, when the state legislature returns from its summer break Monday. The fall legislative agenda is packed with bills touching on everything from public employee pensions to public records. Not only will it play out against the backdrop of a contentious election season, but it will also contend with a time crunch: Any bills that don't get approved this year will effectively die and have to be reintroduced come January, when a new two-year session begins.
NEWS
September 13, 2014 | By Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
Gov. Christie on Thursday asked the Legislature to beef up tax incentives for non-gambling projects in Atlantic City as part of an economic development bill. He conditionally vetoed the bill, passed by the Democratic-controlled Legislature in June, which would revise the state's economic incentive programs. Under Christie's revisions, non-gambling businesses in Atlantic City would be eligible for many of the same incentives as those in other poor cities, such as Camden. "Similar to Camden and other targeted cities in New Jersey that are in need of economic rejuvenation, I am recommending that non-gaming development projects and private-sector job growth in Atlantic City be eligible for the strongest possible incentives," Christie wrote in his conditional veto message.
NEWS
September 9, 2014 | BY DANA DiFILIPPO, Daily News Staff Writer difilid@phillynews.com, 215-854-5934
THE GUARDIAN Civic League, which has championed the rights of Philadelphia's black police officers since 1956, has had its tax-exempt status revoked for failing to file required forms, and it could owe the federal government nearly $100,000 in penalties. The IRS filed a $99,787.25 tax lien against the league in May, after yanking its nonprofit status in January because league officials haven't filed tax paperwork since 2010, according to the IRS and the Pennsylvania Department of State.
NEWS
September 5, 2014 | BY MICHELE TRANQUILLI, Daily News Staff Writer tranqum@phillynews.com, 215-854-2348
THE DEADLINE to apply for a homestead exemption on your property taxes is Sept. 13, yet thousands of Philadelphia homeowners have not applied and may miss out on big savings. If you're unfamiliar with the tax break, here are some answers: Q: What is a homestead exemption? A: The homestead exemption shaves $30,000 off the assessed value of your property and your tax bill is calculated from the lower amount. With the exemption, a house assessed at $100,000 in Philadelphia, for example, would be taxed on only $70,000, reducing the tax bill from $1,340 to $938.
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.
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