- Pennsylvania Among 'Terrible 10' Most Regressive Tax States
- February 4 Non-Partisan Training: HOW TO RUN FOR ELECTION BOARD IN 2013: HOW TO RUN FOR COMMITTEEPERSON IN 2014
- Republican Governors Opt-In to Medicaid Expansion
- The Reports of Unions' Death Are Greatly Exaggerated
- Ask Allyson Schwartz to run for Governor
- Mind the gap: Opting Out of Medicaid Expansion Leaves Low-income Families Behind
- Jan. 14 Workshop:HOW TO RUN FOR ELECTION BOARD IN 2013; HOW TO RUN FOR COMMITTEEPERSON IN 2014
- Seth Williams on Guns, Jasmine Rivera on School Closures @PFC Meetup Wednesday
- PA Revenue Strong Midway Through Year; Tax Cut Could Have Big Impact
- What to Make of the Fiscal Cliff Deal?
land value tax
Philadelphia Councilperson Joan Krajewski had a letter published in yesterday's Daily News calling for a new approach to collecting back taxes. She argues that
We need to make a deal with the people who owe the city $1.2 billion in back taxes by allowing them to come on down and pay their debt in exchange of waiving the interest and penalty during an amnesty program.
If we don't, who knows what is behind the curtain or trap door? It could be even more cuts in more city services, it could be more job layoffs, it could be a city bankrupted wishing we shoulda, woulda, coulda "made a deal."
The Henry George Foundation signed up yesterday and submitted testimony. Our plan is to help bridge the gap between the Mayor and the council's competing proposals. With less than two weeks to go, many ideas are floating, but no common ground has been achieved. We proposed combing the sales tax increase with LVT using the current BRT assessments, thereby changing - albeit modestly - the sales tax increase into a "tax on foreigners living abroad". We got a lot of questions, and had the data broken out by District and then city-wide.
Council was disappointed at the lack of attendance, but at least we had the luxury of being asked in-depth questions and a request to the chair by Councilman Green for a fuller study was accepted by CP Verna.
Helen Gym gave a sharp and persuasive presentation on BRT employees skulking in School District corridors. Helen's command of the subject impressed many.
I just wrote this article in response to the coverage of the death of Roy Parker, and wanted to share it here as well:
Yesterday Jill Porter of the Philadelphia Daily News reported on the death of a man named Roy Parker, a tenant in an illegal boarding house behind the shuttered Ivy Ridge Assisted Living facility in Roxborough. Parker and 9 other low-income residents had been renting 7 rooms at the property, at $450 each, in an effort to rebuild their lives after struggling with poverty, health, and in Parker’s case, even homelessness.
According to the medical examiner, Parker’s death was due to complications from heart disease and hypothermia. Apparently the illegal boarding house had no heat, and Parker died when the temperature outside was below freezing for a full day. While this is a tragedy in itself, those familiar with the history of the property owner, Rosalind Lavin, could have seen this coming.
I think it's good that many posters here want to pressure Harrisburg to pass laws that will help reform Philadelphia's systems and improve revenue streams without adversely impacting those with a reduced ability to pay, one of the canons of modern taxation.
Here's some ideas that one of my board members and I wrote up in support of a bill introduced by Rep. Rosita Youngblood. None of these ideas are original (except LVT!, but they are used to a great extent in other states; Pennsylvania is back in the dust as far as state-wide options or protections for low-income property owners.
It's meant more as a digest,with some commentary on the merits of each program. I hope this helps as a resource.
H. William Batt, Ph.D. Center for the Study of Economics
Joshua Vincent, Director, Henry George Foundation/USA