Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Philadelphia eyes a boost in real estate tax revenue

In today's inquirer, the topic of tax hikes once again surfaced. This time, the city wants to boost assessments to raise property taxes. The fallacy is that new assessments cannot raise taxes by 10% when they are based on property values, which have actually declined in the Delaware Valley by over 15% in the 18 months. The article and a lively group of discussion posts are linked below:

Philadelphia eyes a boost in real estate tax revenue by Jeff Shields, 3/23/11

The answer to this argument is quite simple. It is unethical to consider new fees or tax hikes while we are not making every effort to collect what is already owed to our city. Therefore, the state should create a financial control board to oversee the city's fiscal management the way that D.C. did after the Barry administration and the city of Camden and Atlantic City do in New Jersey.

For those who talk in the dicsussion forums about impeachment, they should know that impeachment cannot be possible if Council does not make a motion to impeach (which they wont do from within the same party).

However, we should pressure our state reps to make the new State Attorney General investigate and prosecute Sheriff Green and Clerk of Quarter Sessions Miller for failing to collect outstanding taxes, fines, fees, and bail for the entireties of their administrations. Their criminal failure to carry out their duties was done to canter political favor among a base of voters (identity politics) which has resulted in a budget catastrophe for the city.

New Sheriff + zero tolerance = collection or seizure. This rather unpleasant policy will result in an uptick in revenue without a tax increase in no time!

Please feel free to post your thoughts in our forum...

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