Today (December 7th) The Philadelphia Daily News offered its latest call for tax reform in a clever editorial:

With a tax structure that aggressively punishes innovation and success, Philadelphia has been unable to hold onto new jobs or make itself attractive enough to lure them across the border. Philadelphia may be a great city to live in but you wouldn't want to work here.  City Council, perhaps as early as this week, is in a position to help reverse that perception. A bill that would eventually eliminate the business privilege tax is set for a vote. We urge Council to pass the bill. (Full Editorial)

City Hall's cool new lighting is getting a lot of news, but the real story at City Hall is the thousands and thousands of calls for tax reform that are flooding City Council -- arriving by phone, fax, letter, fax from every corner of the city.  Read two of the dozens of emails sent by members of Philadelphia Forward's constituency for change just this week:

Dear elected officials:

As a business owner, employer, property owner, resident and voter in the City of Philadelphia, I strongly urge you to vote for tax reform.  Every nonpartisan group studying the issue agrees on this.  And, as a registered Democrat, I am ashamed at the reticence--if not downright aversion--of the Party to change. Not to speak of the waste, patronage and cronyism that even an FBI probe has eliminated. But that is for another angry letter.

We know we can afford tax reform and everyone from business attraction experts to PICA, the city's fiscal watchdog demands at least a five-year schedule of cuts to generate certainty about the future. 

Pass the legislation to phase out the job-killing business privilege tax.  Say YES to tax reform and say NO to petty personal politics.  Or you might find yourselves out in the cold, like our Democratic brethren in New York City.

Dear elected officials:

I have lived in Center City for 15+ years and I am currently in talks for expansion of my business to potentially hire 25+ employess to help service a multi-million dollar client. As such I will have
to expand my office space. I have to tell you that I would love keep my business here but the Business Privilege Tax is looking like a HUGE road block to doing so. It has never made sense as to why there was such a tax in the first place. It is truly counter intuitive to business growth. Small businesses become large businesses. Additionally, as a small business owner, I and my fellow small business owners feel abandoned by our elected officials who award the multi-Billion dollar Comcast tax abatements while we are forced to bear the brunt of this brutal misguided BPT.

Tax reform in Philadelphia will come. Are you going to be among the elected officials who make historic change? Are you going to sit by and do nothing? In the mean time my business and I must look beyond the potentials that life in the city has to offer. It's a sad reality but one that you all have the ability to  correct.

Pass the legislation to phase out the job-killing business privilege tax.  Say YES to tax reform and say NO to petty personal politics.  A growing city a thankful citizenry -- and maybe even a vote in 2007 -- will be your reward.

Today, seven City Councilmembers (who have voted against phasing out the job-killing Business Privilege Tax to grow) stand between Philadelphia and job growth.  They have been told by the voter-established Tax Reform Commission, the Mayor's handpicked 21st Century Review Forum transition team, the Mayor's Economic Summit, and thousands of city residents and employers that we should phase out the job-killing Business Privilege Tax to grow jobs in Philadelphia. 

The very same Stubborn Seven who are standing in the way of desperately needed tax reform have approved many tax breaks, incentives, and sweetheart subsidies for the favored special interests while they have voted again and again and again and again against the tax reform the experts and their constituents have called for.  Tell them tax reform cannot be all for some and none for all...


FIRST -- THERE IS A NEW EMAIL MESSAGE YOU CAN SEND TO CITY COUNCIL... "Vote For Tax Reform...If You Want My Vote In 2007" so, even if you have already sent an email, send this new message so City Council understands your position!

THEN -- Call the Stubborn Seven (NOW and then again and again so they can't ignore you) to tell them you're counting on their vote to grow jobs...

District 3

Jannie L. Blackwell


District 5

Darrell L. Clarke


District 6

Joan L. Krajewski


District 7

Richard Mariano


District 8

Donna Reed Miller


At Large

Juan F. Ramos


At Large

Blondell Reynolds Brown


Then... make 'em look you in the eye when they vote...

Thursday, Dec. 15th 10:00 am Room 400 City Hall

If City Council does not hear from you, the pols and the special interests will win.  Tell them you want them to vote for YOU or you will vote against them in 2007!