Expresses concern about slowing of wage and business tax cuts, raising realty transfer tax

PHILADELPHIA, PA: The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia reiterated its longstanding support for additional funding for the School District of Philadelphia and applauded Mayor Kenney for his commitment to our city schools and implementing governance ownership over the Philadelphia School District.

On behalf of its 600,000 employees from thousands of member companies, the Chamber set forth the following principles:

  1. Philadelphia’s public schools need more money – to close at least a $1 billion budget gap over the next 5 years.
  2. The fairest and best source of city funding to meet this need is to increase the real estate tax.  Philadelphia’s real estate taxes are relatively low compared to our suburban neighbors.
  3. The Commonwealth must also be asked to bear its fair share of education funding in Philadelphia – if not this year, then in future years.  Education funding must be a shared responsibility.
  4. Philadelphia must remain committed to continued – and even accelerated – reductions in wage and business taxes, both of which are uncompetitively high as compared to suburban tax rates. Increased funding for education and a further reduction in wage and business taxes are not mutually exclusive.
  5. Any increase in the real estate transfer tax – already the highest in the country – is inadvisable – it runs the risk of slowing the real estate boom which is fueling economic growth in the city and, ironically, reducing the tax revenue that will be made available to public education in the City.

We look forward to working with the Mayor and City Council throughout the budget process to further encourage business and job growth in the City of Philadelphia.