Sunday, May 24, 2015

The good news and bad news of the pensioner tax crackdown

An IOM editorial on last week's news that the city is cracking down on tax delinquent city pensioners:

The good news and bad news of the pensioner tax crackdown

An IOM editorial on last week's news that the city is cracking down on tax delinquent city pensioners:

File this under “Better late than never.” The Nutter administration announced last week that it’s cracking down on about 2,500 city retirees who collect city pensions – and owe a grand total of $12.9 million in back taxes.

The retirees will be given a chance to pay up or enter a payment agreement, and if they don’t, the city can start deducting as much as 25 percent from their pension checks. The average city pension was $18,363 last year.

The bad news here is that people receiving regular checks from the city were allowed to amass millions of dollars in tax debt. It’s yet another reminder that the city’s tax collection efforts are woefully inadequate, and another insult to the poor suckers who still pay faithfully.

But we’re glad, at least, that the administration isn’t responding to some scathing investigation. It’s actually taking the initiative, and acting like it wants all Philadelphians to pay their taxes.

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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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