Tax policy and mayoral politics

There was plenty of high-minded tax policy being discussed at last week's City Council hearings, but the mayoral politics were just as rich.

Bill Green and Maria Quiñones Sánchez pushed a formidable bill that challenged popular tax-reform notions. Some, however, wondered whether Green wasn't a little anxious to get the bill passed before year's end, as a resume-topper for a challenge to Mayor Nutter in the Democratic mayoral primary in May. Green has not ruled out a 2011 run.

Green rejected that notion and, true to form, turned it on Nutter.

"Politics are being played the other way, for something that is good for Philadelphia, because it's perceived to be bad for Nutter politically," Green said.

"Once again, Councilman Green has it wrong," retorted Nutter's spokesman, Mark McDonald, citing opposition to the bill from Wharton School economist Robert Inman, the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, the hotel industry and the city controller.

Speaking of City Controller Alan Butkovitz, we know that he would like to run for mayor one day, say in 2015. He has emerged as a dependable Green adversary and attended virtually every second of a day-and-a-half-long hearing in opposition to the bill.

And do not discount Sánchez, who conceived the bill back in 2008 as a way to capture taxes from out-of-town corporations doing business here. The politically savvy Sánchez might just like to become the city's first woman mayor in 2015.

The tax hearings resume on Dec. 15; the politics will continue until further notice.

NOTE: The original version of this blog post, which appeared in the Dec. 6 Inquirer, omitted a word in Mark McDonald's quote. McDonald referred to Bill Green as "Councilman Green," not simply "Green."