Trash Fee = Flat is Whack

On March 17, we joined many concerned citizens and groups to comment in council on the proposal to add a "soda tax" and more importantly a flat fee for trash collection.

Since the soda tax really isn't the classic excise tax, we gave it short shrift. It'll bring in some revenue, that's about it.

But the regressivity of the flat fee for trash collection really needs to be re-examined. after a brief flurry of news and noise, attention has drifted, so I wanted to bring it back and keep in peoples' minds.

The impact on poorer areas is truly astonishing. The tables attached to our testimony makes that clear. In many neighborhoods, the flat trash fee far exceeds the total property tax an average house pays, and when the city portion of the property tax is isolated the numbers go off the charts bad.

Land Value Tax Discussion This Saturday, 9/26

LVT and AXI in Philadelphia: Saturday Discussion
Tax policy by the numbers and with a philosophy.

The 2009 budget crisis in Philadelphia came down to the wire. How could it have been avoided? By implementing a progressive form of land value taxation, a self-generated fiscal solution can be in the cards, without overly-burdening working and poor residents. Urbantools staff will demonstrate how with blazing graphics and a gripping narrative! Find out why Councilwoman Quinones-Sanchez, amongst others, has asked for full study of land based taxation.

All are welcome. When someone tells you that the money's not there for essential city services, you can have an answer at hand. Come on down, tell us what you think and give us a chance to make our case.

When: Sep 26, 2009 from 10:00 am to 11:30 am
Where Henry George School, 413 South 10th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147
Contact Name: Barbara Maloney (RSVP if you can)
Contact Phone: 215-923-7800
Attendees: The Public

The Philadelphiaa Civic Engagement Committee

I am writing this to give your more information on the Philadelphia Civic Engagement Committee. The Philadelphia Civic Engagement Committee (PCEC) is a volunteer based, non-profiting, non-partisan group of individuals whose mission is to educate the citizens of Philadelphia on current issues that affect the city as a whole. We are working towards bettering Philadelphia, promoting a message of equality, empowerment, peace, and working together to create better solutions for a better community.

No fees are involved to become a remember, all we ask is you bring your love for Philadelphia, and thinking cap!

PCEC is altruistically focused because people want to assume a more active role in shaping how their community works. PCEC forms partnerships and collaborations around common interest issues, and needs. We are strategically focused on enhancing the quality of life, the social climate, and the economical conditions for all those who live in Philadelphia.

A New College For Philadelphia

This is a post that's been a long time coming. Here is part of its history.

During the Mayoral primary campaign, YPP hosted a post by a young woman named Renata Neal. Renata grew up in Germantown, and attends West Chester University through the Core Philly Scholarship program. Her mother worked as a volunteer for Chaka Fattah's mayoral campaign, and Renata likewise voiced her support since Fattah had helped create the program.

But one of the questions that came out of that post was why a talented young Philadelphian had to leave the city of Philadelphia to get an affordable education at a public university. Philadelphia has many prestigious and wonderful colleges and universities -- but most of them are private, which makes their tuition steep, especially for first-generation college students who are unwilling to take on debt or who can't easily navigate the scholarship system. Temple, which like Penn State is a public/private commonwealth university, has undergraduate tuition twice that of West Chester. If Renata, who as a young, full-time student had been offered scholarships, had to look elsewhere -- what opportunities were there for nontraditional students, finishing their degrees part-time, or trying to return to school after a long absence?

Mark Cohen noted then that he was working with the state university system to try to bring a new four-year state university to the city of Philadelphia. I've had this in my mind ever since then. And I think it's a wonderful idea -- for college students like Renata, for students nothing like Renata, for our schools, for our neighborhoods, and for our city. What's more, it's a project that in principle all of our elected officials, from city office to Congress, can work to make happen. If you want to know more, read after the jump.

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