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Building a coalition for Philadelphia tax reform

Posted by GO-Commercial on February 29, 2016
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A major step was taken on the road toward decreasing Philadelphia’s high resident and non-resident wage tax rates as well as the business income and receipts tax (BIRT). These reductions will lead to business and job growth in our city.

Mayor Jim Kenney and an unprecedented broad coalition of bi-partisan political leaders as well as business, labor and civic leaders announced their support of a comprehensive tax restructuring initiative for Philadelphia. Paul Levy, president of Center City District, Jerry Sweeney, president and CEO of Brandywine Realty Trust and Steven Scott Bradley representing the African American Chamber of Commerce helped build the consensus needed for Philadelphia to reach this major milestone.

It is not surprising that Levy is one of the coalition builders of this tax restructuring initiative. Ask the business, labor, civic and political leadership of Philadelphia the name of the individual most responsible for transforming Center City Philadelphia into a cleaner and safer place to live, visit and do business, and in unison the response will be Paul Levy. Since 1991, Levy has been at the forefront of the journey to raise the quality of life and the preeminence of our city.

I recently interviewed Levy at CCD headquarters, just a block west of Independence Hall in the Old City section of Philadelphia. Levy spoke with passion about improving our city. Early in our conversation, he gave credit for the success of CCD to his team and to other Philadelphia leaders who share a common vision of what Philadelphia can become.

Center City has undergone a renaissance, and continues to do so. Today, the residential community within Center City is thriving. Residents and visitors enjoy the performing arts, museums and Philadelphia’s numerous restaurants. The population is growing as empty nesters from the suburbs move into Center City. More millennials are choosing to stay in Philadelphia after they graduate, reversing the trend of just a few years ago.

Despite these positives, Philadelphia’s high wage tax rates and high BIRT adversely impact job creation. This is an issue that Levy is fully committed to changing.

Read the full article at Philadelphia Business Journal.

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