Here Are Some Other Ways We Can Balance the Budget

By Randy LoBasso
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 4 | Posted Apr. 5, 2010

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We all may be Tea Partying soon.

The Inquirer reports that although M. Nutt and the Council Goblins haven’t come up with a budget, one thing is certain: When they do, it’s gonna hurt.

The garbage fee was no good. The soda tax sucked. Reducing spending on certain city projects gets you an earful from certain jerks throughout the city, PhillyNow included. What’s a Nutt to do?

Turns out, considerations now include rigging a pulley system to the real-estate tax and overhauling the business-privilege tax. We’ve detailed the garbage and sweetener taxes, so let’s do a little explainin’ on the other attempts to make us want to pick up The Fountainhead – and not put it down after the first three pages this time (or fall asleep at the wheel while attempting to listen to the wordy boredom on tape.)

Real Estate:

This tax was proposed by Councilman Frank DiCicco as an alternative to the garbage tax. The way it would work is, you own property, your taxes are increased by 12 percent. Estimates say it would raise $105 million a year.

The positive: Residents who itemize would be able to write this tax off. It’s more progressive than the garbage and soda taxes since those who earn more pay more.

The negative: Unfortunately, as the Committee of Seventy has detailed, our property taxes don’t make a lick of sense as is, and we may be eliminating the Board of Revision of Taxes on May 18. Why would we raise them before fixing them, or at least knowing if the estimates of who pays what are going to stay the same?

Business Privilege:

This new idea was introduced by Maria D. Quiñones-Sánchez and Bill Green. It’s basically reform the business-privilege tax, changing where the majority of taxes on business would come from. Bill and Maria claim it wouldn’t increase the overall tax burden of Philadelphia’s small businesses, or destroy jobs. Everyone disagrees with that.

Right now, business-privilege taxes strip 6.45 percent of reported business profits and 0.14 percent of gross receipts – the latter of which goes for whether or not your business has made a profit.

The second one sounds sort of worse, right? You pay a portion of total sales even if you’re in the red for the year. Well, the Council Goblins want to bloat that aspect of the Business Privilege Tax while erasing the business reported profits portion. This idea is going to face opposition from the city business community, Council and, likely, the administration.

City Finance Director Rob Dubow has understandably opposed this plan, telling the Inquirer, “Studies have shown that if the gross-receipts side of the BPT goes up, we lose jobs…we'd really need to understand why they think that won't happen.”

What does everyone else think?

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Comments 1 - 4 of 4
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1. Anonymous said... on Apr 5, 2010 at 10:57AM

“Thanks for putting this in perspective, I don't know if it'll help
anyone though, they'll do what they want anyway.”

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2. Anonymous said... on Apr 5, 2010 at 10:53PM

“i'm just glad i'm not a home or business owner.”

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3. Anonymous said... on Apr 6, 2010 at 11:39AM

“maybe we ned to get rid of all of city council, ,these cats make an eight year job a career, thats why the city is in such bad shape, we need to fire all of them, if the mayor can only serve two terms, that should be the case with city council,lets get out and vote them all out, we need change, not corrupt politicos”

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4. Anonymous said... on Apr 6, 2010 at 11:58AM

“Put the recipients of the city services to work cleaning up the streets and Septa stops, which I was told by Septa is not their responsibility. They would be too tired to keep having babies who run around with out any respect for the people or property of Philadelphia.”


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