Letters Extra: Taxing for growth must be goal

Having been in business in Philadelphia for over 50 years, I've watched the city's slow decline from a vibrant business center to one that has driven away most large firms and made it extremely challenging for small companies to survive or grow.

This didn't have to occur, since Philadelphia has more to offer than almost any other city with which it competes: great history, a walkable downtown, fabulous array of restaurants and shops, world-class cultural institutions, and much more.

Only in attracting and retaining businesses has the city fallen flat, even though most business leaders say they would locate or remain here as they grow - but only if our city were on a level playing field with competitors on a taxation basis and had a predictable legislative future.

Our business and political leaders must work to change how and what we tax. If we continue down the same trodden path, the city is doomed. We must begin laying the foundation to attract businesses, and advertising alone won't do the job. Only a well thought out, long-term plan built around a strategic tax policy for growth will work.

- Joseph S. Zuritsky, chairman and chief executive officer, Parkway Corporation, Philadelphia