FEATURED ARTICLES
NEWS
June 18, 2016 | By Tricia L. Nadolny, STAFF WRITER
Looking to raise millions for a bold expansion of early childhood education, Philadelphia City Council on Thursday approved a 1.5-cent-per-ounce tax on sugar-sweetened and diet beverages, the first such tax imposed in a major U.S. city. The 13-4 vote put to bed months of speculation and at-times-bitter negotiations, but also ensured that the national spotlight will stay turned on Philadelphia for months, if not years. Critics quickly vowed a court challenge. And as the city introduces the unprecedented levy - and its economic and public-health effects come into view - experts, advocates, and legislators will surely be watching closely . Mayor Kenney, who can count this as the first major political victory of his term, called it a start to "changing the narrative of poverty in our city.
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
June 22, 2016 | By Claudia Vargas, Staff Writer
Before dozens of cheering supporters in City Hall, Mayor Kenney signed the sweetened beverages tax into law Monday. Now comes the tough part: enforcement. The 1.5-cent-per-ounce tax on sugar-sweetened and diet beverages is expected to raise about $91 million annually, which will go toward expanding prekindergarten in the city; creating community schools; improving parks, recreation centers, and libraries; and funding various other budget programs. Getting that money will be dependent on the Revenue Department's enforcing the tax on distributors, or, in some cases, the vendors.
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.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
July 16, 2016 | By Allison Steele, Staff Writer
American Water is moving to the Camden waterfront, the company announced Thursday, becoming the latest New Jersey corporation lured to the city by generous state tax subsidies. Aided by the promise of $164 million in incentives, the Voorhees-based American Water Works Co. will build a new corporate headquarters between the Benjamin Franklin Bridge and the Adventure Aquarium, becoming the first piece of a massive complex planned by Liberty Property Trust, the Philadelphia-based developer that intends to build offices, shops, and homes there.
NEWS
July 16, 2016
ISSUE | PHILA. TAXES Good to crack down on delinquents The Greater Philadelphia Association of Realtors applauds the efforts of Mayor Kenney and City Councilman Allan Domb to reinvigorate the collection process for delinquent property taxes ("Phila. may expand tax-liens program," July 8). Last year, the city collected more than $17 million after conducting two successful sales of property-tax liens. This illustrates that owed revenues can be collected when there is government will.
NEWS
July 9, 2016
Unimpressed pedestrians who recently walked through an East Market Street set where an episode of the FX comedy series It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia was being filmed weren't just being rude. They unwittingly served as a metaphor for their state, which has been trampling over a tax program designed to lure filmmakers to Pennsylvania. For the first time in a decade, no major feature films are scheduled to be shot in or around the nation's fifth-largest city this year. That's because the tax credits Pennsylvania offers to production companies are paltry when compared with other states that are also trying to entice filmmakers.
NEWS
July 8, 2016 | By Julia Terruso, STAFF WRITER
For every $10 the city should get in taxes, a little less than a buck never shows. On Thursday, city officials thanked the 92 percent of Philadelphians who pay their taxes and announced a plan to recoup some of the estimated $492 million in unpaid property taxes that have accumulated over 40 years. The city issued a request for proposals to create a system for ongoing tax-lien sales. Councilman Allan Domb, who has been pushing for a program to address tax delinquencies since his Council campaign last year, was joined by Mayor Kenney and Council President Darrell Clarke to announce the initiative.
NEWS
July 7, 2016
ISSUE | PHILADELPHIA DEVELOPMENT Build on gains and improve schools For all the complaining about Philadelphia's 10-year tax abatement, consider that the city and the region saw nearly $7.4 billion in new construction and major renovation between 2013 and 2015 ("Learning the drill," Thursday). That construction added 27,700 jobs and is revitalizing trade schools. This is taxpaying, home-buying, community-developing job creation. The abatement has revitalized entire neighborhoods, with developers risking financial ruin by building bigger homes - for less money and lower taxes - in fringe communities.
NEWS
July 5, 2016
ISSUE | N.J. GASOLINE TAX Increase needed to repair roads Summer has arrived. In South Jersey, we are keenly aware of it because of the increased traffic on our highways and county and local roads, much of it heading to the Shore. Those of us in the business community aren't complaining, since those extra cars come with tourists who spend money. But those highways and county and local roads are in desperate need of maintenance, repair, and improvement. Lawmakers in Trenton are finally working on legislation that would increase the state's 14.5-cents-per-gallon gas tax by 23 cents, to 37.5 cents, and dedicate more than $2 billion a year to fund transportation construction ("Senate opposition puts brakes on N.J. gas-tax hike," Friday)
NEWS
July 4, 2016 | By Maria Panaritis, Staff Writer
Spotting a Hollywood megastar on set anywhere in Southeastern Pennsylvania this year will take more than a telephoto lens or a lucky break. Because for the first time in a good decade, no major feature films are slotted to be shot in or around the nation's fifth-largest city this year. The grim milestone has film boosters on edge in a region once adept at luring big-money producers to its cobblestone alleys and tree-lined suburbs. Pennsylvania's film tax credit is no longer working the same big-screen magic here.
BUSINESS
July 3, 2016 | By Joel Naroff
We all like tax breaks, but fiscal responsibility requires more than just cutting taxes. Nothing shows that more than the budget implications of the fiscal policies of the two leading candidates for president. With the party conventions nearing, it's time to start thinking about the financial realities of the Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton economic proposals. Of course, the Republican is the fiscally responsible one while the Democrat will cause the deficit to soar, right? Not in this year of unpredictable politics.
NEWS
July 3, 2016 | By Andrew Seidman, TRENTON BUREAU
Gov. Christie is considering withdrawing from an agreement that exempts residents who live in Pennsylvania but work in New Jersey from paying income taxes on their salaries and wages to the Garden State, and vice versa. This would effectively amount to a tax hike for many of those who commute across the Delaware River for work - and would be highly unpopular in South Jersey, where tens of thousands of people could be affected. The proposal was included in an executive order that Christie signed Thursday night, placing millions of dollars in reserve in what he said was a response to a reckless spending proposal submitted by the Legislature, which is controlled by Democrats.
NEWS
July 2, 2016 | By Andrew Seidman, TRENTON BUREAU
TRENTON - Gov. Christie on Thursday shot back at a conservative New Jersey radio host critical of his new tax plan, accusing the host of deliberately misleading listeners to "try to make yourself famous" and boost ratings. The host, Bill Spadea of New Jersey 101.5's morning show, snapped back, "Governor, it's not any more about ratings for me than it is about a nice tax-cutting headline for you. " At issue is Christie's plan to raise the state's 14.5-cent-per-gallon tax on gasoline to 37.5 cents as part of legislation to replenish New Jersey's fund for the construction and maintenance of roads, bridges, and rail lines.
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