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
April 14, 2015 | By Erin E. Arvedlund, Inquirer Columnist
If you want conflict-free investment ideas, sign up for BetterInvesting's Spring Investor Day, set for April 25. (By conflict-free, we mean no one will be "conflicted" - that is, getting paid to give advice or sell any investing products.) Spring Investor Day is an all-day seminar (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.), and 20 bucks gets you stock-research sessions, questions and answers with the Philadelphia Area Chapter of BetterInvesting, and lunch. You don't have to be a member to attend. A national club of self-taught investors, BetterInvesting has a website ( www.betterinvesting.org )
NEWS
April 11, 2015 | By Claudia Vargas and Tricia L. Nadolny, Inquirer Staff Writers
Philadelphia City Council President Darrell L. Clarke launched his first official strike against Mayor Nutter's proposed 9.3 percent property tax increase by introducing his own plan for a new school-funding stream. Clarke introduced a bill Thursday that would authorize the city to sell liens on commercial properties and use the revenue for schools. The Council president was vague in how much money his proposal was expected to bring. A news release sent by his staff said that "millions of dollars in new revenue from selling commercial liens could be sent to the School District of Philadelphia annually.
NEWS
April 9, 2015 | By Angelo Fichera, Inquirer Staff Writer
A five-year pilot program in Gloucester County that shifted the job of property-tax assessments from municipalities to a county office - an approach first met with some skepticism - is being hailed as a successful "tax-assessment reform" worthy of replication. The creation of the county Assessor's Office has collectively saved the county's 24 towns millions of dollars, according to a recent county report. But whether the county-based assessment office - new to New Jersey, though standard in dozens of other states, including Pennsylvania - will be a model for other counties isn't clear.
NEWS
April 8, 2015 | Inquirer Editorial Board
The trouble with Gov. Wolf's natural-gas tax is that it wasn't imposed five years ago. Thanks to the Rendell administration's halfhearted support for a tax and the Corbett administration's misguided opposition, Harrisburg slumbered - and schools and other services suffered - while the Marcellus Shale boomed. It's Wolf's misfortune to be attempting to address this failure in the midst of a gas glut. Given that the regional natural-gas price has plummeted by more than half over the past year, legislators and others have rightly questioned whether the governor's projected $1 billion a year in revenue from the levy is realistic.
NEWS
April 4, 2015
ISSUE | TAX HIKES Council incumbents, stand ground now I am appalled that City Council incumbents running for reelection are not acting on the city budget - especially its proposed 9.34 percent property tax increase - until after the May primary ("Council a no-go on tax boost," April 1). Haven't we given the schools an extra $200 million for the past several years? What are they doing with the money? If they cared about education, they would make use of the stored books and other equipment just going to waste.
NEWS
April 3, 2015 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Inquirer Staff Writer
Joseph Koch Koplin, 75, of Center City, a gifted musician and tax accountant, died Friday, March 27, of complications from prostate cancer at his home. Born in Philadelphia, Mr. Koplin was a child prodigy on the trumpet. At age 10, he performed solos on Paul Whiteman's Goodyear Revue, a TV variety show. At 11, he played for the Philadelphia Orchestra at children's concerts. Later, he studied and played at musical festivals worldwide. He graduated from the University of Rochester in 1965 with a bachelor's degree in music, and while there, he played first trumpet in the Rochester Philharmonic and assistant first trumpet in the Eastman Wind Ensemble.
NEWS
April 3, 2015 | Chris Hepp, Inquirer Staff Writer
Mayoral candidate Anthony H. Williams outlined an economic development plan Wednesday that included the creation of a municipal bank, a revamped tax system, and tax abatements designed to lure large firms into Philadelphia's neighborhoods. Williams, a Democratic state senator, offered his plan with the backing of business community members who have endorsed his candidacy. Those offering their support to Williams included Brett Mandel, a senior adviser to Econsult Solutions; Ajay Raju, who is chief executive officer of the Dilworth Paxson law firm; and Joseph Zuritsky, chairman and chief executive officer of the Parkway Corp.
NEWS
April 2, 2015 | By Angelo Fichera, Inquirer Staff Writer
Despite persistent opposition, a large redevelopment project in Washington Township that appeared destined to remain tied up in court may be heading toward construction, after officials authorized a tax deal for the plan. An attorney for the redeveloper planning the Washington Square project said Tuesday that his client intends to move "full speed ahead" toward site plans and that two business tenants had already been secured for the mixed housing and commercial project. Last week, the township council approved a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT)
NEWS
April 2, 2015 | By Tricia L. Nadolny, Inquirer Staff Writer
As two months of budget hearings kicked off Tuesday, City Council wasted no time pushing back on Mayor Nutter's central proposal to rake in $103 million for the city's schools by raising property taxes. Council's directive: Bring us another option. "Five, six years ago, we sat here and we had the economic doomsday," Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sánchez said, recalling the depths of the recession. "We had our workforce give up a little bit. We had our residents give up a little bit. We had our business give up a little bit. . . . What does $103 million in shifting of priorities in this city budget, using the same methodologies used before, look like?"
NEWS
April 2, 2015 | By Suzette Parmley, Inquirer Staff Writer
ATLANTIC CITY - With legislation to end casino tax appeals and stabilize this city's finances languishing in Trenton, Borgata and others confirmed that they have filed, or will file, petitions to appeal their 2015 property-tax assessments to meet Wednesday's 5 p.m. deadline. Successful tax appeals by the casinos have cost the city nearly $400 million in refunds since 2007, which has depleted municipal coffers and put the city in dire financial straits. Most of the refunds are being repaid with borrowed money.
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