City Council gave preliminary approval Wednesday to a bill that would cap the 10-year tax abatement on new residential construction at $500,000 of value. The cap would go into effect in July 2015.
The committee took a rare roll call vote on the divisive issue, and the bill passed by a 9-7 count, with Councilwoman Marian Tasco absent. The bill, sponsored by Councilman W. Wilson Goode Jr., could face final approval on June 20.
During testimony on the bill, Goode and Symphony House developer Carl Dranoff had several testy exchanges on the merits of the current tax abatement, which does not have a cap.
The abatement has been credited with sparking a building boom - mostly in Center City and surrounding neighborhoods - but also has been derided as an unnecessary tax credit to rich homeowners.