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
May 9, 2015 | By Tricia L. Nadolny, Inquirer Staff Writer
Rentals through Airbnb, the online marketplace where people can list their homes for short-term stays, could soon be taxed in Philadelphia. The Nutter administration is making the push ahead of the September visit of Pope Francis, when home rentals are expected to be in high demand. "People are bringing in money on this and, at least in the pope's visit, bringing in a decent amount of money," said City Councilman William K. Greenlee, who introduced a bill Thursday on behalf of the Nutter administration to regulate and tax short-term rentals.
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
June 25, 2015 | By Claudia Vargas, Inquirer Staff Writer
At the eleventh hour, several community and nonprofit groups are crying foul over the city's plan to auction 938 tax liens - in an online endeavor that is to begin Wednesday and end Monday - in the hope of collecting millions of dollars in unpaid property taxes and related fees. The sale is for control of a tax lien - essentially a claim attached to commercial and residential properties and vacant lots with unpaid real estate taxes, not the property itself. The auction is a pilot program that could result in other lien sales, according to the Nutter administration.
NEWS
June 24, 2015 | By Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
TRENTON - New Jersey Democrats on Monday unveiled the broad contours of the budget they will submit to Gov. Christie, saying they would make a full contribution to the underfunded pension system by raising taxes on businesses and the state's highest earners. Christie, a Republican who says he will announce whether he is running for president by the end of the month, has vowed not to raise taxes. The state constitution requires the Legislature to pass, and the governor to sign, a balanced budget by next Tuesday.
NEWS
June 20, 2015 | By Tricia L. Nadolny, Inquirer Staff Writer
City Council passed a package of tax increases Thursday that will hit a wide swath of the city's taxpayers while taking in an additional $70 million for the Philadelphia School District. Under the biggest piece of the plan - a 4.5 percent property-tax increase - the owners of a house assessed at $150,000 would see their tax bill go up $72 per year. Mayor Nutter signed the tax increases, as well as the city's annual operating budget, soon after Council approved them. He said the additional school funding was badly needed but still did not fill the district's deficit, leaving the burden to Harrisburg.
NEWS
June 15, 2015 | By Kathy Boccella and Cat Coyle, Inquirer Staff Writers
Joe Rooney, a Delta Air Lines pilot who is raising five kids in Abington Township, is about to get a higher tax bill, and he isn't particularly happy about it. "We are not bringing in enough money for the spending we are proposing," said Rooney, whose annual $3,922 property-tax bill on his Maple Avenue home stands to increase by $113 as of July 1. Rooney, who is running for school board, believes the Abington School District hasn't done enough...
NEWS
June 12, 2015 | By Tricia L. Nadolny, Inquirer Staff Writer
City Council set the stage Wednesday for a wave of tax increases designed to produce $70 million for the cash-strapped Philadelphia School District. But the plan still falls far short of the district's $103 million funding request, and it appears to come with strings attached. Council plans to hold $25 million of the projected $70 million in its own budget - because it isn't keen on the district's plan to possibly outsource the hiring of substitute teachers and nurses, a move that has angered unionized teachers and their political allies.
NEWS
June 10, 2015 | By Allison Steele, Inquirer Staff Writer
Voorhees-based American Water Works has asked the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) for $164 million in tax credits to move its headquarters to Camden. The application is to be considered at Tuesday's meeting of the EDA at the Waterfront Technology Center in Camden. The EDA also will consider a request from a joint Rowan University/Rutgers-Camden board for $50 million to build a "health sciences" building in the city, according to the agenda. That building, on Broadway near Cooper Medical Center, would have classrooms, lab space and offices, and would house Rutgers-Camden's Center for Computational and Integrative Biology.
REAL_ESTATE
June 7, 2015 | By Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Writer
One in a continuing series spotlighting real estate markets in the region's communities. Holidays are special in small towns. Some go all out for Fourth of July, with fireworks. In some, Thanksgiving is a favorite, with Santa arriving by fire truck. In West Grove, Memorial Day gets the attention. "There's a big parade and speeches, and the whole community joins in," says Jill Callahan, an agent with Coldwell Banker Preferred in Media, who has lived in the southern Chester County borough for 18 years.
NEWS
June 6, 2015 | By Julia Terruso, Inquirer Staff Writer
Philadelphia City Council launched its school-funding counterplan to Mayor Nutter's proposed property-tax increase Thursday, calling for raising taxes on parking lots and businesses as well as a much milder boost in property taxes than Nutter wants. The three bills introduced Thursday would generate far less than what the School District says it needs. They would bring in an estimated $70 million - more than two-thirds of the $103 million Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. is seeking.
NEWS
June 5, 2015 | By Tricia L. Nadolny, Inquirer Staff Writer
With a budget deadline looming, Philadelphia City Council is close to crafting its alternative to Mayor Nutter's proposed property-tax hike to fund the city's public schools. In closed-door meetings this week, Council considered four potential revenue streams - building blocks that would fall at least $20 million short of the $103 million the School District has asked for, according to sources familiar with the discussions. On the table are a sale of city tax liens; an increase in the city's use-and-occupancy tax on businesses; a hike to the parking tax; and a real estate tax increase far more modest than the 9.34 percent proposed by Nutter.
NEWS
June 3, 2015 | By Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
There is little appetite for a tax increase to help Philadelphia schools. School Reform Commission members can spend 20 hours a week, easily, on their unpaid and often frustrating job. Contract negotiations with the teachers' union are proceeding, even if the union doesn't find them productive. And, yes, the SRC talks behind closed doors about eliminating itself. (But says it's not the right time yet.) Those and other tidbits came to light during a Monday meeting at which the commission attempted to be more responsive to parents and community members.
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