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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
August 1, 2011 | ASSOCIATED PRESS
WASHINGTON, Pa. - More than two centuries after George Washington called out the militia to quell a fight over taxes imposed on whiskey-making in the United States, residents of western Pennsylvania marked the event with the inaugural Whiskey Rebellion Festival. The festival in Washington County on Saturday honored the 1794 rebellion in which local farmers protested the tax approved by Congress three years earlier to help pay for $80 million in Revolutionary War debt. Tripp Kline, a board member of the Bradford House Historical Association, calls the event one of the 10 most important in American history because it showed that the government was committed to unifying the fledging country.
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
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
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.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
April 23, 2016 | By Julia Terruso, Staff Writer
The city's Commission on Universal Pre-K issued its final report to the mayor and City Council this week, with recommendations for how to expand pre-K to 3- and 4-year-olds in Philadelphia. Many of the recommendations will likely be adopted in Mayor Kenney's final pre-K plan, given that he appointed several of the commission's members, including his own director of pre-K. The report notes that the majority of the group recommends a sugary-drink tax to bring in the $60 million a year that Kenney says he needs for the program.
NEWS
April 23, 2016 | By Julia Terruso, STAFF WRITER
Philadelphia's soda tax battle has gone full-on presidential. Following comments former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made in Philadelphia Wednesday in support of Mayor Kenney's a proposed tax on sugary drinks to universal fund pre-K education, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said Thursday he's against the tax. "At a time of massive income and wealth inequality, it should be the people on top who see an increase in their taxes, not low-income and...
NEWS
April 21, 2016
By Dan White Pennsylvania, like most of the United States, has a problem. Paychecks have not come back from the Great Recession as strongly as they have following other downturns. American workers' wages and salaries took longer to regain their previous, inflation-adjusted peaks after the Great Recession than after any other recession since World War II. This is especially true in the commonwealth, where wages and salaries grew less than three-quarters of the national rate last year.
BUSINESS
April 21, 2016 | By Andrew Maykuth, STAFF WRITER
Pennsylvanians pay the highest motor-fuel taxes in the country, according to a ranking released Tuesday by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. State gasoline taxes and fees ranged from a low of 8.95 cents per gallon in Alaska to 51.4 cents per gallon in Pennsylvania, according to an EIA survey of gas taxes as of Jan. 1. That does not include an additional federal tax of 18.4 cents per gallon. Pennsylvania's state tax is 24.9 cents more per gallon than the national average, 26.5 cents.
NEWS
April 20, 2016
ISSUE | SODA TAX Best for the kids Sugary drinks should be regarded as a treat, not a staple ("Touting a tax's health benefit," Sunday). Having been an advertising writer for more than 30 years, I know that words matter. Calling Mayor Kenney's proposed tax on sugary drinks a "grocery tax" is wrong and irresponsible. Those commercials sponsored by the American Beverage Council infuriate me. This would be a tax on sugary drinks full of empty calories - period. And it's time that sugary drinks get the bad press they deserve: Any doctor will tell you that those beverages are a main factor behind the skyrocketing incidence of obesity and diabetes.
NEWS
April 19, 2016
ISSUE | SODA TAX Not a grocery levy Soda is not, nor should it be, a staple of the family grocery budget. As I have been telling my pediatric patients and their parents for years, a soda is a candy bar in a can. It is a treat to be enjoyed on special occasions. The beverage industry lobbyists are wrong when they say the proposed 3-cents-an-ounce tax on sugary drinks will drastically impact families and shoppers, claiming there would be a large spike in grocery prices. It's just not true.
NEWS
April 19, 2016 | By Marc Stier
THE SUGARY-DRINK tax proposed by Mayor Kenney, also known as the "soda tax," is controversial because it takes a greater share of the income from poor families than rich ones. And since we at the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center are fundamentally committed to economic justice, we are always inclined to be suspicious of taxes that do that. So it may come as a surprise that we have concluded, overall, that the sugary-drink tax proposed by the mayor is a good idea. Though the costs fall more heavily on those with low incomes, for two reasons, more of the benefit of the tax will go to low-income Philadelphians, as well.
NEWS
April 18, 2016 | By Michael Smerconish
Jim Kenney was 15 minutes into his pitch for a 3-cent-per-ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages and still hadn't mentioned the word obesity . Philadelphia's mayor was far more focused on the city's pre-K crisis than its residents' waistlines. "We have a 26 percent poverty rate," he told me. "We have an incarceration rate of almost 7,000 people at any given time. And if we don't change generationally, educational opportunities, training opportunities, job opportunities for people, we're never going to get that 26 percent poverty rate down.
NEWS
April 16, 2016
By Andy Koenig When are you done paying your taxes? No, the answer isn't April 18 - taxes are just due on that day. Pennsylvanians finish paying them on April 22, and New Jerseyans finish on May 12. That's when you finally earn enough to pay what you'll owe for 2016. Put another way: You work well over 100 days this year before you actually start to see your hard-earned money. The nonpartisan Tax Foundation calls this "Tax Freedom Day," although you probably won't feel like celebrating when you consider that you're likely spending more on taxes than on food, clothing, and housing combined.
NEWS
April 16, 2016
ISSUE | SODA TAX Moviegoers, theaters will pay the price As the head of an independent movie theater serving low-income neighborhoods in North Philadelphia, I can say that the pro-tax coalition demonstrated a lack of understanding of our industry when its spokesman said we will be able to absorb the mayor's proposed tax on sugary beverages ("Theaters run ads against tax plan," Tuesday). Most of our ticket revenue goes to Hollywood studios. We rely on concessions to stay open and would be forced to pass on a 3-cents-an-ounce tax to our customers.
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