Letter: Philadelphia's Burden

Publication: Chestnut Hill Local

Author: Pete Mazzaccaro

05/20/2009 - The mood of the average Philadelphia taxpayer is high anxiety. And it should be.

As the city grapples with dozens of ways to rein in an 11 percent budget gap, there’s a lot of talk of tax hikes. Many in Chestnut Hill were worried after a series of stories in The Philadelphia Inquirer revealed a proposal to revamp the city’s real-estate tax assessment system — a move that would have likely meant significant property tax increases for many.

But as Mayor Michael Nutter and City Council negotiate a final budget proposal, it looks like the property tax system — though in desperate need of reform — will not be overhauled. Instead, the city seems headed for, among other things, a temporary, 1 percent increase of the city sales tax, from seven to eight percent.

According to a new study by The Pew Charitable Trusts' Philadelphia Research Initiative, our city faces a smaller budget crisis than many other big cities, but it is one of four of 13 cities in the study to propose tax increases.

Read the full opinion piece Philadelphia's Burden on the Chestnut Hill Local's Web site.

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