Kenney putting forth jobs bill

With City Council returning for its lame duck session on Thursday, members are putting together their bills and attempting to gather support from their colleagues.

Councilman James F. Kenney began circulating a bill today that would exempt new businesses from paying Business Privilege Taxes, business-related licensing fees, and transfer and zoning-related taxes for the first two years of operation.

To qualify for the incentives, a new business would have to have at least ten full-time employees who live in the city. The bill also would give existing businesses a tax exemption on the first $100,000 of receipts - an idea first proposed by Council members Bill Green and Maria Quinones Sanchez.

Kenney said the bill is meant to jump start job creation. Unemployment stands at about 11 percent in Philadelphia, he said, and the city needs to make "a bold statement" to "get the attention of the job creators."

"There's not a better way to become a safer and better mannered city than to have people get up and go to work every day, as opposed to sitting on the steps," Kenney said.

He said he's willing to negotiate over the various terms in his bill, which he said was inspired by the 10-year tax property tax abatement that helped to spark a building boom a decade ago.

Unlike normal tax cuts that remove money from the city's bottom line, "this is not lost revenue because its revenue that hasn't been created yet."

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