In response to recent legislative activity surrounding the FY19 budget and recent amendments to a proposed 1% tax on construction across the city, the Chamber has released an open letter to Council that details our support for Mayor Kenney’s strategy to fund schools locally and continues opposes targeted industry taxes.

Read the full letter below:

Dear Philadelphia City Councilmembers,

As the FY19 Budget cycle is coming to a close, we are writing to clearly state our members’ priorities.

As a general matter, the Chamber supports increased funding for the School District of Philadelphia, affordable housing and the homestead exemption. The Chamber also supports continuing accelerated reductions in wage and business taxes. We believe these priorities are key to reducing poverty and stimulating economic growth that would expand the City’s tax base, add jobs and boost wages. The Chamber also opposes anti-business legislation that would stymie job creation and economic growth.

More specifically, we believe the following:

(1) Pro-growth initiatives will do more to grow our economy, expand the tax base, create jobs and increase wages than proposals that unduly tax and strain business. Therefore, the Chamber broadly opposes:

(A) targeted industry taxes such as the proposed 1% tax on construction citywide;
(B) increasing the realty transfer tax;
(C) increasing the homestead exemption unless there is an increase in the property tax;
(D) changes to the 10-year tax abatement plan; and,
(E) pending legislation that proposes to impose predictable scheduling formulas onto unpredictable business environments.

(2) Philadelphia’s public schools need more money to close a $630 million budget gap over the next five years. The fairest and best source of city funding to meet this need is to increa