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
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.
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
BUSINESS
March 18, 2015 | By Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer
Gov. Wolf's proposed severance tax on Marcellus Shale natural-gas production contains a unique feature that sets a minimum taxable level, guaranteeing that the state would capture its share no matter how low the gas price sank. The severance tax, dubbed the Pennsylvania Education Reinvestment Act, would set a minimum value of $2.97 per thousand cubic feet (Mcf) for all natural gas produced in the state, regardless of its actual sale price. Natural gas is currently selling at five Pennsylvania trading hubs at prices ranging from $1.23 per Mcf to $2.52 a unit.
NEWS
March 17, 2015
PERHAPS YOU'VE FILED for an extension on your taxes this year. Or maybe you're waiting until the last minute to complete paperwork. Chances are you could be doing a better job during the year to save on federal taxes, says Mike Gillen, a certified public accountant who heads the tax-accounting group at Duane Morris. Here are some of his tips: * Don't overlook deductions. A general rule of thumb is that any expense directly related to or associated with your business is a potential tax savings.
NEWS
March 13, 2015 | By Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer
The federal government this week projected that natural-gas prices would average about 30 percent less in 2015 than last year. That's great news for consumers, but it presents a challenge for Pennsylvania's new governor. Gov. Wolf has proposed a severance tax on natural-gas production that he says would generate $1 billion for education programs. But the proposed tax is based on the price of gas. And as long as gas is cheap, it will be hard to hit the revenue target. "I think the billion you're projecting is not there," State Rep. Garth Everett (R., Lycoming)
NEWS
March 13, 2015 | By Tricia L. Nadolny, Inquirer Staff Writer
Philadelphia City Council will soon begin vetting Mayor Nutter's proposed budget, but debate on the most controversial part, a 9.3 percent property-tax hike to fund city schools, will have to wait until after the May 19 primary election. Council President Darrell L. Clarke has scheduled the first hearing on school funding for May 26, guaranteeing that Council members - all of whom are up for reelection - will not have to air the politically sensitive issue before the primary. Some say that's problematic for voters.
NEWS
March 12, 2015 | Chris Hepp, Inquirer Staff Writer
Whatever privations Nelson A. Diaz suffered as a child growing up in a Harlem tenement, they are in his rearview mirror now. Lynne M. Abraham stands as a testament to the relative generosity of city pensions. And State Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams' household keeps the bills paid with a big boost from fracking interests. Those are a few highlights gleaned from federal tax returns of five Democratic mayoral candidates. Diaz, Abraham, Williams, James F. Kenney, and Doug Oliver voluntarily released past returns to The Inquirer for review.
BUSINESS
March 10, 2015 | By Erin E. Arvedlund, Inquirer Columnist
Tax time can be especially stressful for military families. But servicemen and women are allowed extra time to file and are eligible for free filing help. If you're serving outside the United States (including Puerto Rico) as of April 15, 2015, you're granted an automatic two-month extension to file tax returns. If that's not enough time, by submitting Form 4868 to the IRS, you can extend filing by an additional four months, according to the American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association.
NEWS
March 10, 2015 | By Suzette Parmley, Inquirer Staff Writer
ATLANTIC CITY - A measure aimed at stabilizing this city's taxes has stalled in the Statehouse, just three weeks before a deadline for the casinos to challenge their assessed value in a shrinking gaming market, leaving embattled Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian caught between two of the state's most powerful politicians. Gov. Christie and Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D., Gloucester) are at odds over the fate of an Atlantic City tax relief plan, formally known as the Casino Property Taxation Stabilization Act, that Sweeney sponsored.
NEWS
March 9, 2015 | By Amy Worden, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
  HARRISBURG - Gov. Wolf wants to do what no governor has done since President Lyndon B. Johnson was in the White House: Raise the Pennsylvania sales tax. Former Gov. Ed Rendell tried it twice. In 2010, he couldn't even get the state's Democratic-controlled House to go along. Wolf's plan - presented in his budget address last week - goes even farther. Higher sales and income taxes would raise almost $4 billion toward property-tax relief. The proposal calls for hiking the income tax from 3.07 percent to 3.7 percent and increasing the sales tax from 6 percent to 6.6 percent.
NEWS
March 6, 2015 | BY WENDY RUDERMAN, Daily News Staff Writer rudermw@phillynews.com, 215-854-5924
ANOTHER storm is brewing, and we're not talking snow. We're talking about a fresh round of Mayor Nutter vs. City Council. Nutter is expected to unveil a budget today that will call for a more than 9 percent increase in property taxes to help infuse the Philadelphia School District with desperately needed money, according to sources. The mayor's proposed property-tax hike of 9.34 percent is likely to put City Council - which must approve Nutter's eighth and final budget - in a difficult position at a time when all 17 council members are up for re-election.
NEWS
March 6, 2015 | By Claudia Vargas and Tricia L. Nadolny, Inquirer Staff Writers
Mayor Nutter will ask City Council on Thursday to approve a 9.3 percent increase in property taxes to fund the beleaguered School District. In his final budget address as mayor, Nutter will ask Council - in an election year - to approve a $3.95 billion spending plan that would raise property owners' taxes by hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year. Currently, the tax bill for a home assessed at the median of $113,000 is $1,112. If Nutter's proposal was approved, it would go up to $1,216.
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