Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Quinones-Sanchez and Green propose overhauling tax system

According to a story by Catherine Lucey and Dave Davies in today's Daily News, two freshman members of City Council are on the verge of unveiling a proposal that would dramatically change how businesses are taxed.

Quinones-Sanchez and Green propose overhauling tax system

According to a story by Catherine Lucey and Dave Davies in today's Daily News, two freshman members of City Council are on the verge of unveiling a proposal that would dramatically change how businesses are taxed.

Tax reform is nothing new. But the proposal from Bill Green and Maria Quinones-Sanchez would completely eliminate a portion of the Business Privilege Tax and increase another portion of the levy.

The city's business-privilege tax has two components - a gross-receipts portion, which taxes firms on their sales, and a net-income portion, which taxes profits.

Since 1995, Council and the mayor have been making small reductions in the gross-receipts tax.

But Quinones-Sanchez and Green are considering a dramatic reversal of course: immediately eliminating the tax on profits and increasing the gross-receipts tax enough so that the city's tax revenues aren't reduced.

Mayor Michael Nutter-- who just received recommendations from his own tax force-- seems cool to the idea. He even told the Daily News that the proposal sounded a little crazy.

Nutter said that he wants to look at their legislation but that he's always believed that the gross-receipts tax made no sense.

"It seems to me to be on the borderline of insanity where a business, if you make no money, owes the city money," Nutter said.

The mayor may not support the idea, but Green and Sanchez have already begun building support among other members of City Council. If they can get 12 votes for the bill, Council can override a veto from Nutter.

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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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