Poll: City residents feel overtaxed, still willing to pay more

A Pew Charitable Trusts poll released this morning found that city residents are concerned about how much they pay in local taxes but would pay more in return for better city services.  Forty-nine percent of those polled said they favor higher taxes for more services while 42 percent wanted to reduce taxes and have fewer services.

When asked about the city's tax burden, 40 percent called it very serious, 30 percent called it somewhat serious and 26 percent called it not very serious.

A majority, 56 percent, favor the idea of commercial advertising at City Hall and other municipal properties to raise money while 34 percent oppose that.  The residents polled were split on the idea of taxing sugary drinks like soda to raise money -- 32 percent favor the idea strongly, 14 percent favor it but not strongly, 16 percent oppose it but not strongly and 33 percent strongly oppose it.

New City Council President Darrell Clarke, who proposed the commercial advertising effort, immediately hailed the poll results in a news release. 

"I have long been of the view that the City of Philadelphia cannot tax its way out of a fiscal crisis," Clarke's release said. "The City’s leaders must look for new and inventive ways to generate revenues and avoid leaning too heavily on hard-working citizens."

You can read the complete poll, done by Pew's Philadelphia Research Initiative, here.

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