In Council News, Kenyatta Johnson by Khara Garcia

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(PHILADELPHIA, PA. April 8, 2024) – Philadelphia City Council President Kenyatta Johnson (2nd District) announced the 15 members of the latest iteration of the Philadelphia Tax Commission.

Back in late February, City Council overwhelming approved Resolution #240108, sponsored by President Johnson, to reconvene the Philadelphia Tax Reform Commission. The Commission will conduct an updated comprehensive analysis of all taxes imposed in Philadelphia, including by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and to make recommendations concerning tax reforms.

Four members each are appointed by Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle Parker and Council President, one member appointed by City Controller Christy Brady, and the remaining members (one each) are selected by various local Chambers of Commerce in Philadelphia.

The 15 members are:

  • Paul Levy, Richard Vague (Co-Chair), Jovan Goldstein, and Ryan Boyer (Council appointments).
  • Matt Stitt (Co-Chair), Folasade (Sade) Olanipekun-Lewis, Jerry Sweeney, and Greg Segall (Mayor appointments).
  • Allan Domb (City Controller appointment).
  • Jennifer Karpchuk for The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia.
  • Derek Green for the African American Chamber of Commerce of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware.
  • Victor Garrido for the Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
  • Daniel McElhatton for the Greater Northeast Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce.
  • David Oh for the Asian American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia.
  • Zach Wilcha for the Independence Business Alliance.

“In this post COVID19 Pandemic world we are in, it is important to reconvene the Philadelphia Tax Reform Commission to look at our various taxes in Philadelphia,” Johnson said. “I want to thank the 15 members of the new Tax Reform Commission for their willingness to tackle this important issue. We need a tax structure that encourages businesses to move into Philadelphia and, most importantly, stay in Philadelphia. It is important to create an environment that is tax friendly as means to promote job growth and tackle poverty. I believe we can find a healthy and fair balance between providing tax relief for businesses, while also significantly investing in small businesses, which are the bedrock of our economy and our neighborhoods.”

The new Tax Reform Commission will hold its first meeting in the coming weeks.

The original Tax Reform Commission was established in 2002 via Council Resolution #020264 and Bill #020255 and the Commission consisted of community and business leaders, the various local chambers of commerce, institutions of higher education, and trade organizations. The Commission was created to recommend methods to reduce taxes for Philadelphia residents, workers, and businesses. The Commission issued its final report in 2003 and a summary of that report is available here.

It has been over 20 years since the original Tax Reform Commission issued its final report. Johnson believes a new Tax Reform Commission analysis is necessary to consider today’s socio-economic realities, including the uneven Post COVID19 Pandemic recovery among communities of color and the end of the federal COVID19 stimulus programs.

The new Tax Reform Commission will review the 2003 report, conduct any additional findings they deem necessary to determine what, if any, tax reform can be possibly implemented in the Fiscal Year 2025 budget cycle or future budget cycles, and report its recommendations to the Mayor and the Council.

Under Resolution #240108, the new Tax Reform Commission does not have a specific deadline when it must report its recommendations to the Mayor and the Council.

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Council President Kenyatta Johnson, a former Pennsylvania State Representative, represents the Second Council District which includes parts of Center City, South Philadelphia, and Southwest Philadelphia.

Philadelphia City Council is the legislative arm of Philadelphia municipal government. Keep up with Council on phlcouncil.com, and on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

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