Thursday, September 3, 2015

More bang for your tax buck?

There are, of course, numerous very important distinctions between this story, about Camille Barnett working two years and being entitled to a $50,000 city pension, and this story, about a revenue department employee who allegedly sought a $5,000 cash payment to move along a tax abatement application.

More bang for your tax buck?

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There are, of course, numerous very important distinctions between this story, about Camille Barnett working two years and being entitled to a $50,000 city pension, and this story, about a revenue department employee who allegedly sought a $5,000 cash payment to move along a tax abatement application.

But one thing they have in common is that they will not make Philadelphians any happier about this story, about Councilman Frank DiCicco proposing a property tax hike.

It is not a pretty day for government efficiency.

Update: In comments, kirwooderby calls this a "cheap-shot insinuation that Ms. Barnett is stealing the money." The fact that what Ms. Barnett can do is completely and totally legal is what we were driving at when we said that there are "numerous very important distinctions" between the two situations, but let's go ahead and make that explicit: The most important distinction is that the pension would be legal. And it is a really really big distinction. The similarity is that neither story is likely to make taxpayers happy about how carefully the government is spending their money.

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Every year, city government spends slightly more than $4 billion. Where does all that money come from? More importantly, where does it go? Are we getting the most bang for our tax buck? “It's Our Money” is a joint project between Philadelphia Daily News and WHYY, funded by the William Penn Foundation, designed to answer these questions.

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