May 13, 1988
Six months have slipped by since Gov. Casey called Pennsylvania's tax system "an abomination," and proposed a comprehensive plan for revamping it. So far, the rest has not exactly been history. The proposal is still enmeshed in the legislature. In the latest worrisome turn, the Senate Republican leadership has dropped from its own tax-reform plan a provision for lowering the Philadelphia wage tax. The result is that even though wage-tax relief is the linchpin to tax reform in the Philadelphia area, some people now consider it unachievable, and they're urging something far less ambitious: simply handing out the $140 million designated for tax reform according to the old revenue sharing formula, with perhaps $28 million going to Philadelphia.
November 23, 1988 |
A resolution of the dispute between Philadelphia and the suburbs over the city's wage tax, which appeared close yesterday, apparently is dead for the rest of the Legislature's session. The Senate's effort at statewide tax reform ended in failure yesterday, and a victim was a plan to reduce the wage tax. Under the plan, the wage tax would have been cut from its 4.96 percent rate for city residents to 4.5 percent. The current 4.31 percent for suburbanites who work in the city would have been reduced to 3.95 percent.
April 23, 1989 |
Most of us are greedy. We speak about the public interest but vote our personal self-interest. On May 16, make your day. Think greed. Vote yes for tax reform. The new law will help more of you than it will hurt. Pennsylvania's economy will prosper even if tax reform fails. But the state economy will do even better - and tax burdens will be fairer - if the tax referendum passes. Yet critics squawk. In part, their accusations are correct; in part, misleading and partisan. Let's separate fact from fiction.
April 13, 1986
Not even a Disney-size imagination could look at what's happening in the Senate Finance Committee and call it "tax reform. " Call it the same old shell game of passing around tax subsidies to vested interests while the average taxpayer gets sucker-punched - because that's all it is - but don't call it reform. Any doubts about that should have ended Wednesday when the committee took its first conclusive votes. Five reform proposals were offered by Sen. Bill Bradley, the New Jersey Democrat whose crusade to lower everyone's tax rates by eliminating tax subsidies to the privileged got this whole tax-reform bandwagon rolling years ago. On Wednesday Sen. Bradley offered five proposals designed to curtail or phase out tax subsidies to the oil, gas, timber, mining and farm industries.
May 4, 1989 |
At a public forum Monday night, Easttown supervisors opposed the proposed tax reform act that will be a referendum question on the May 16 primary election ballot. Supervisor Melvin Boyd said that although the Township Board of Supervisors had a long history of avoiding political involvement beyond township boundaries, he was afraid the board's silence on tax reform might be interpreted as agreement. Said Boyd: "I have come to the conclusion that it (the tax reform act) is not a good idea and not in the best interest of the township.
May 11, 1989 |
If the majority of East Lansdowne's Borough Council has its way, Pennsylvania's tax reform referendum will go down to defeat on primary day. At the urging of Republican councilman Louis B. Uhler, each of East Lansdowne's seven borough councilmen expressed his opinion on Gov. Casey's proposed tax reform measure at the council meeting Monday. No formal vote was taken, but it was clear from the statements that six of the council members were firmly opposed to the tax reform proposal.
June 1, 1986 |
As the Senate begins its marathon June debate on tax reform, owners of real estate are asking themselves the inevitable: Will I be hurt financially by the legislation taking shape on Capitol Hill? Are there any smart moves I can make before the tax-code revisions are signed into law? What types of real estate - if any - will prosper under tax reform? What types will be particularly hard hit? Following is a practical guide to tax-reform tactics for first- and second- home owners, buyers, sellers and small investors.
June 22, 1989 |
In spite of the electorate's May 16 knockout of the local tax reform plan, state Sen. H. Craig Lewis (D., Bucks), who since the late 1970s has been slugging away at the impact of Philadelphia's city wage tax upon his Bucks County constituents, said he was in training for a rematch. Lewis expects that 1992 - when a new General Assembly will meet in Harrisburg after a reapportionment based on the 1990 census - is when the issue may be taken up again. The census is important, according to Lewis, because it will reflect Philadelphia's reduced population, and therefore its political weight, more evenly matching suburban interests with those of Philadelphia.
June 25, 1987 |
Local tax reform is a widely supported concept in nearly all parts of Pennsylvania, but has floundered in the past because it means different things to different people. To many taxpayers in small cities and suburban areas, it means getting rid of nuisance taxes, such as the annual occupation tax that varies depending upon a person's job. For others, it means lowering real estate taxes. For the residents of Philadelphia and its suburbs, however, tax reform means cutting the city's wage tax rate.
June 21, 2004
Today could be a watershed moment for Philadelphia, a day when City Council and Mayor Street put aside pettiness and put Philadelphia in the spotlight with a bold tax-reform plan. Or it could get ugly. Let's hope Council and the mayor find common ground to improve Philadelphia's business appeal and attract new investment and jobs. The alternative - which Street seemed to court last week with predictions of scary service cutbacks and rhetoric that pits city residents against commuters - would be for this to become a politically bloody Monday.