Saturday, August 30, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Mayor opposes Councilman's effort to lower city's parking tax

UPDATED to relect vote results.

Mayor opposes Councilman's effort to lower city's parking tax

UPDATED to relect vote results.

Mayor Nutter today sent a letter to City Council, urging them to not to give final passage to legislation from Councilman Jim Kenney that would gradually lower the city's 20 percent parking tax.

But Council ignored his wishes and voted 12-5 in favor of the bill, with Council members Bill Green, Maria Quinones-Sanchez, Brian O'Neill, Blondell Reynolds Brown and Darrell Clarke opposing.

The city raised the rate from 15 percent to 20 percent in 2008. Kenney's legislation would gradually bring the rate down to 17 percent, with the reductions starting in the 2014 fiscal year. Kenney argued that the parking industry had been unfairly targeted.

"I think the parking tax is extremely high," Kenney said. "They raised it five percent in one shot."

But Mayor Nutter said the proposal would cost the city millions and said he would rather see broad tax reductions that benefit all businesses, rather than just one industry.

"I don't know why the parking industry is so special that they should be getting reductions in their rates now," said Nutter, who would not say whether he would veto the bill.

Robert Zuritsky, president of the Philadelphia Parking Association, which represents over 200 parking operations, said the parking industry had been unfairly hit in the first place.

"It's an incredible burden," Zuritsky said.

About this blog
Chris Brennan, a native Philadelphian and graduate of Temple University, joined the Daily News in 1999. He has written about SEPTA, the Philadelphia School District, the legalization of casino gambling, state government, the mayor, the governor, City Council and political campaigns. E-mail tips to brennac@phillynews.com
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@phillynews.com
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Sean Collins Walsh is from Bucks County and went to Northwestern University. He joined the Daily News copy desk in 2012 and now covers the Nutter administration. Before that, he interned at papers including The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News and The Seattle Times. E-mail tips to walshSE@phillynews.com
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