City Council Votes For Tax Reform (again)!

The Good News, The Bad News, And The "Ugh Here We Go Again" News

Tax reformers remain undefeated in City Council as the majority of Councilmembers (again) heard the public voice, listened to the experts, and voted to grow jobs in Philadelphia.  Council passed bill 050669-AA, which would phase out the Gross Receipts portion of the job-killing Business Privilege Tax and systematically reduce the Net Income portion of the tax.  That's the good news.

A minority on City Council -- Councilmembers Blackwell, Clarke, Krajewski, Mariano, Miller, Ramos, and Reynolds Brown -- voted against the bill.  If the Mayor (again) vetoes the legislation, that minority will be able to (again) sustain the veto and prevent the legislation from becoming the law of the land.  With the nation growing jobs, the region growing jobs, and the city losing jobs (in part due to our uncompetitive tax structure), that's the bad news.

The "ugh here we go again" news is that Councilmember Blackwell joined the growing list of Councilmembers voting against tax reform legislation who have introduced their own version of legislation to reduce the Business Privilege Tax.  What is downright sad is that one might think that, with everyone agreeing that we must do something , Councilmembers of good will could agree on something .  Unfortunately, too many have been more concerned about who will get credit and who's name is on the legislation to get something done.  So maybe there is more room for compromise in the spring or maybe we will dance the same dance (again).

So what happens next?  The Mayor will deliver his budget address on Tuesday, January 24th, when it is expected that he will veto this legislation and introduce his next budget and Five-Year Plan for the city.  It will be interesting to see if that Five-Year Plan budgets for more tax reform.  Then we will (again) have a very public discussion about tax reform during the budget process this spring.  By then, tax reformers have a secret weapon due to arrive on March 22nd to add a powerful new voice to the chorus for change!