PHILADELPHIA — Mayor Jim Kenney and City Council President Darrell L. Clarke (5th District) today announced the creation of a high-level working group that will study Philadelphia’s tax structure, with the goal of creating an action plan that supports an equitable, inclusive economic recovery of Philadelphia.
The Philadelphia Tax Reform Working Group will examine and propose changes to the city’s tax code to support an equitable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic for every Philadelphia resident and business in the city. The action plan developed by this Working Group will inform and influence the creation of the FY2023 Budget and Five-Year Plan.
The mayor and Council President will appoint experts in municipal tax policy and stakeholders to the Working Group over the next several weeks.
In the 2000s, the Philadelphia Tax Reform Commission led an overhaul of Philadelphia’s business, wage, and real estate taxes to promote the growth of small businesses and family-sustaining jobs. The new effort will build on that work, along with other tax reforms implemented over the last decade.
“City Council and the administration have worked on these issues previously,” Councilmember Maria Quiñones Sánchez (7th District) said. “Pennsylvania’s uniformity provisions have made tax policy more complicated. This year, several councilmembers recognized that we need to have a more robust discussion on tax reforms before next year’s budget. We need to work thoughtfully and start working immediately to help grow a more equitable recovery for all.”
“It’s clear that our tax structure needs continued reforming in order to aid small business, attract enterprise, drive inclusive growth, create good-paying jobs, and benefit our residents,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “I look forward to this group tackling this issue collaboratively as we look toward a brighter future post-pandemic.”
“I believe we should take a fresh look at our tax structure, with an eye towards a more equitable tax system that benefits every Philadelphia resident,” said Council President Clarke. “We’d like to be able to target tax reforms as well, and we’ll need to be creative to accomplish that. There’s no time to waste and I’m glad to see Council coordinating with the Kenney administration on this critically important effort to benefit all our residents, small businesses and every economic stakeholder in the city.”
“In order to elevate our city out of the level of poverty that we continue to see across our undeserved neighborhoods, we must begin by expanding our economic base in such a way that benefits everyone, thus creating the opportunity for generational wealth and promoting equity,” said Councilmember Derek Green (At Large), chairman of Council’s Finance Committee. “That starts with comprehensive tax reform, which will empower Black and Brown communities to take full control of their future.”
“As Philadelphia works to recover from the pandemic and grow its economy equitably, we need to be intentional and transformative if we’re going to provide a different experience for residents and businesses,” said Councilmember Allan Domb (At Large). “Over this past year I have taken the time to hear the calls of residents and businesses who are crumbling under a structure that does not work. We can no longer afford to build a tax system that ignores the competitive nature of the region and globe in the 21st century. I thank Council President for forming this group and I look forward to working with my colleagues to do what we need to do to bring good paying, family-sustaining jobs to Philadelphia.”
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