View of Philadelphia skyline at sunset
Project

Philadelphia Research and Policy Initiative

Sections

Fiscal Health and Tax Policies

Philadelphia’s fiscal health and tax policy affect the city’s ability to deliver critical municipal services while also retaining and attracting residents and businesses.

Pew’s work on these issues includes research on Philadelphia’s property tax collections, the state of the city’s underfunded pension system, Philadelphia’s record on preparing for revenue volatility, and whether tax incentives are producing the intended results. 

Issue Brief

How Philadelphia's Economy Is Recovering

Quick View
Issue Brief

In June 2022, The Pew Charitable Trusts assessed the status of Philadelphia’s economic recovery two years into the pandemic, identifying five key questions likely to determine the city’s future performance. Those questions concerned jobs, the level of remote work, the size of the workforce, the strength of the housing market, and the implications for an equitable recovery.

Report

Philadelphia 2024

Quick View
Report

In many ways, 2024 is a year of significant transition for Philadelphia. In this year of transition, the challenge is clear for Philadelphia and its new leaders: They must nurture and strengthen the positive trends while making progress on a set of deep-seated problems that can sometimes seem intractable.

Issue Brief

Philadelphia's Post-ARPA Fiscal Reality

Quick View
Issue Brief

The start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 forced officials in cities throughout the country to deal with unexpected budget shortfalls quickly. To close a projected one-year gap of $649 million, Philadelphia was forced to take several steps—including drawing down its operating fund balance, postponing planned tax-rate reductions, temporarily increasing some taxes, and reducing spending. But that didn’t address the long-term fiscal issues.

Tall office buildings line both sides of Market Street in Center City Philadelphia. Cars wait at the intersection of 16th and Market streets while pedestrians cross on a clear, sunny day.
Tall office buildings line both sides of Market Street in Center City Philadelphia. Cars wait at the intersection of 16th and Market streets while pedestrians cross on a clear, sunny day.
Article

Philadelphia Office Property Taxes and Remote Work

Quick View
Article

The persistence of remote and hybrid work is an ongoing concern among local officials across the country, who worry that it will inevitably lead to decreased demand for office space and a drop in the value of office buildings—resulting in lower assessments and reduced property tax revenues.

OUR WORK

Article

How to Make Tax Incentives More Effective for Cities

Quick View
Article

For many years, Philadelphia has awarded businesses hundreds of millions of dollars in tax incentives to encourage them to create jobs, move into distressed neighborhoods, and otherwise enhance the local economy. But the city never had a formal system for regularly evaluating and adjusting the programs.

Article

Philadelphia’s Road to Pension Recovery

Quick View
Article

Philadelphia has taken steps to put its underfunded public employee pension system on what will be a long road to recovery. Will those efforts work, and can the city stick to the plan?