Friday, December 09, 2005

BPT chatter

Apparently the vote expected yesterday on the Business Privilege Tax and related matters was delayed due to the absence of some Council members from chambers, and/or the need for more discussion. A flurry of stories today related to that and opinions on this issue:
  • The Daily News reports that there is lack of agreement on how deep cuts should be and whether to set up a multi-year schedule or check back on an annual basis. Nutter's bill, which would phase in taxes over 5 years, is the one that failed to see action yesterday.

  • The Inquirer reports that Council has added an extra meeting date in December in hopes of coming to agreement on the BPT before the Christmas break. The article also notes that Philadelphia Forward, a big pusher of BPT cuts, has been deluging Council with faxes, phone calls, and a variety of high-tech harrassments.

  • Councilman Wilson Goode continued to decry the last-minute wooing of Council members by the Chamber of Commerce with dining and donations (see prev. here), dramatically tearing up his check on the Council floor.

  • Two opinionizers in the Daily News argue the sides:
    1. keep the BPT, because there's little evidence that tax cuts and job creation are linked, or
    2. we must cut the BPT (from a Chamber of Commerce rep), because they inhibit expansion of small businesses, and because Philly has plenty of revenue coming in. [Note that they cite a recent poll whose credibility was questioned by Ray Murphy here.]
More in the next couple of weeks, when Council considers these matters again!


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