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Tax

NEWS
November 24, 2015 | By Mari A. Schaefer, Inquirer Staff Writer
After years of appeals and court battles - including a civil-rights suit - the Delaware County tax board has ruled that a church in tiny Trainer Borough will not have to pay real estate levies. The Board of Assessment found Monday that two parcels in the Church of the Overcomer complex that carried nearly $10,000 in annual tax bills qualified for exemptions, effective Jan. 1. "I've spent a decade of my life fighting for this cause," said Pastor Keith Collins, adding that the dispute "should never have happened.
NEWS
November 24, 2015 | By Angela Couloumbis and Matthew Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writers
HARRISBURG - A historic plan to cut property taxes statewide teetered near collapse Sunday, imperiling with it the tentative budget deal struck this month by Gov. Wolf and leaders of the Republican-led legislature, according to officials familiar with the negotiations. Without the property-tax reduction - a key plank in the $30 billion state spending plan - "the whole agreement fails," said one high-ranking Democratic official, speaking on the condition of anonymity. Republicans acknowledged the new hurdle but strove to paint less of a doomsday scenario.
NEWS
November 24, 2015
STORM CLOUDS are gathering in Harrisburg over the deal to settle the long state budget impasse. While one group of legislators is still working with Gov. Wolf on hammering out the details of the $30.6 billion plan, another group has launched a maneuver that could kill the whole deal. If that happens it will mean no state budget for the foreseeable future and almost certainly a shutdown of schools and social-service agencies across the state beginning in January - which is when they run out of time and money.
NEWS
November 23, 2015 | By Caitlin McCabe, Inquirer Staff Writer
To the business world, Matthew A. Rosen was a powerhouse, working deals for companies as big as Yahoo!, Discovery Holding, and RJR Nabisco. To the theater, the New York City tax attorney who loved burying his head in numbers was an eager patron, attending shows nearly every night, even amid meetings and business obligations. But to those who knew him best, he was a family man - one who worked tirelessly - but who, when his kids were growing up, never missed cheering for a son at baseball games or shopping with his daughter for produce every weekend.
NEWS
November 23, 2015 | By Matthew Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
Pennsylvania soon might raise its statewide sales-tax rate to the second highest in the nation, a move that experts say would hit low-income residents the hardest while making local businesses less competitive with neighbors in Delaware and New Jersey. And in Philadelphia, where a local sales tax is also imposed, the rate would be the second highest among America's 10 most populous cities. A framework to end the months-long budget impasse between Gov. Wolf and Republican legislators in Harrisburg includes increasing the sales-tax rate - from 6 percent, to 7.25 percent - to raise $2 billion in new revenue.
BUSINESS
November 23, 2015 | By Bob Fernandez, Inquirer Staff Writer
Verizon Communications Inc. has stopped paying millions of dollars in taxes to at least 143 New Jersey towns as customers retreat from the company's traditional copper telephone lines, state and local officials say. For decades, Verizon, the state's legacy Baby Bell, has paid taxes on its telephone poles, wires, and switching facilities. But as customers move to cell and cable-based phones, Verizon has increasingly stopped paying taxes on its older equipment, leaving more towns in the lurch every year.
NEWS
November 21, 2015 | By Martha Woodall, Inquirer Staff Writer
Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput on Thursday called on Catholics to urge Gov. Wolf to release approval letters for corporate tax credits that help pay for scholarships for low-income K-8 students who will attend Catholic and private schools next fall. Chaput, who oversees the five-county Archdiocese of Philadelphia, said the tax credits were vital because they "assist many thousands of needy children. They do it by enabling Pennsylvania businesses to donate to qualified scholarship organizations.
NEWS
November 20, 2015 | By Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
ATLANTIC CITY - New Jersey motorists are all but certain to start paying more in taxes at the pump by the end of the fiscal year, next June 30. The only questions appear to be when lawmakers will vote to increase the gasoline tax and which other levies might be reduced to make the move more politically palatable. "We're in a crisis," Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D., Gloucester) said during a panel discussion alongside three other legislative leaders at the State League of Municipalities' annual convention here.
NEWS
November 20, 2015 | By Matthew Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
HARRISBURG - It might be a wake-up call to anyone expecting a smooth path to a final state budget. Senate Republicans plan to vote next week on a proposal to eliminate property taxes as a source of school revenue and replace them with hikes in the sales and personal income taxes. And the bill's key sponsor says he has support from both parties. "You don't reform property taxes," Sen. David Argall (R., Berks) said Wednesday. "The only solution is to eliminate them. " Even if his measure fails, its emergence could signal cracks in the tentative $30 billion budget deal Gov. Wolf and Republican legislative leaders touted last week.
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