Mayor Nutter introduced his apointees to a new task force on "tax policy and economic competitiveness" at a City Hall press conference that wrapped up recently. This task force has no budget and no dedicated staffers, and yet the mayor says he giving it a far broader mandate than the job assigned to the Tax Reform Commission, which published a lengthy array of conclusions (many of which were not adopted) in 2003.
"The premeise here of this task force, is, if we're starting over, what kind of tax structure would the city have?" Nutter said.
The mayor's press release on the new task force, and its members, follows:
MAYOR NUTTER APPOINTS TASK FORCE ON TAX POLICY AND ECONOMIC COMPETITIVENESS
Philadelphia, March 24 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced today the membership of the Mayor’s Task Force on Tax Policy and Economic Competitiveness. The Task Force is charged with making recommendations on improving Philadelphia’s competitiveness to the Mayor and City Council President by September 14, 2009 and will hold at least two public hearings to receive information and recommendations from citizens.
“This group of experts will put together an action plan outlining exactly what steps we need to take to overhaul our tax structure and to make Philadelphia more competitive,” said Mayor Nutter. “We need to take this opportunity to look at how we can make it easier to do business and create jobs in Philadelphia.”
The Task Force shall:
Evaluate the City’s current tax policy and tax structure;
Compare the City’s current tax policy and tax structure with other regional jurisdictions and major U.S. cities;
Analyze the impact of the current tax policy and tax structure on the City’s competitive advantage regionally, nationally, and internationally;
Examine the impact of the City’s current tax policy and tax structure on business growth and development especially with respect to those economic sectors important to the City’s economic competitiveness;
Evaluate the cost of real estate development in Philadelphia, including a comprehensive assessment of all the development costs including, but not limited to, labor, construction, permitting, plan reviews, and regulatory costs;
Compare the cost to develop real estate in Philadelphia with other regional jurisdictions and major U.S. cities;
Analyze the impact of the cost of development on the City’s competitive advantage regionally, nationally and internationally; and
Evaluate current City development policies, regulations and administrative practices that hinder development, and compare these to other major U.S. cities.
The Task Force will be chaired by Harold T. Epps, President and CEO of PRWT Services, Inc., a nationally recognized minority-owned enterprise headquartered in Philadelphia and the largest minority owned business in the Greater Philadelphia Region. Mr. Epps is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce and the Board of Directors of the Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition.
The Mayor’s Task Force on Tax Policy and Economic Competitiveness was established by Executive Order (attached) on February 10, 2009.
Joe Ashdale is the Business Representative for D.C. 21.
Emily Bittenbender is the Managing Partner of Bittenbender Construction Company, a woman owned general construction company
Thomas Callan, Managing Director and senior portfolio manager, is head of BlackRock's Global Opportunities equity team, domiciled in Philadelphia.
Della Clark is President of The Enterprise Center
Pelayo Coll is a Partner at Blank Rome. Mr. Coll maintains a national practice in the area of real estate development.
Anthony Conti is the Managing Partner of the Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP Philadelphia office.
Joseph Dworetzky (Vice Chair) is a Shareholder of Hangley Aronchick Segal & Pudlin.
Harold Epps (Chair) is President and Chief Executive Officer of PRWT Services, Inc., a nationally recognized, minority-owned enterprise headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and the largest minority owned business in the Greater Philadelphia Region.
Susanna Foo, chef, restaurateur, and cookbook author, is the owner of Susanna Foo Chinese Cuisine in Philadelphia.
Paulette Beale Harris is the owner of Paul Beale’s Flowers, a family-owned business serving the community for over 37 years.
Mike Horsey, CPA, is the Managing Partner of the Mitchell & Titus LLP Philadelphia office.
Robert Inman, PhD, is a Professor of Finance at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania .
Paul Levy is the President and CEO of Center City District (CCD). Mr. Levy also serves as executive director of the Central Philadelphia Development Corp., (CPDC), an advocacy and planning organization supported by the downtown business community.
Christine Murphy is the Chairman and CEO of Zitner Candy Company.
Angelo Perryman is the President and CEO of Perryman Building and Construction Services.
Janet Ryder is the Vice President of Labor Participation for the Philadelphia Council AFL-CIO.
Evelyn Smalls is President and Chief Executive Officer of United Bank of Philadelphia, a minority-owned and controlled, full service commercial bank.
Geri Swift is the founding President of the Women's Business Development Center.
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