Taylor Tax Reform Bill Passes the House
HARRISBURG-- The House has passed legislation sponsored by Rep. John Taylor (R-Philadelphia) to help Philadelphia reform its tax structure.
“Something must be done to encourage job growth in Philadelphia,” Taylor said. “We must face the reality that since 1970, Philadelphia has lost more than a quarter of its jobs.”
To address this situation, a broad coalition of business, labor and civic groups, along with the Tax Commissions of both 2003 and 2009, have concluded that in order to grow the number of jobs in Philadelphia, the city must reduce wage and business taxes and shift to greater reliance on the real estate tax for businesses.
Currently, the Uniformity Clause of the state Constitution requires that all taxes in the Commonwealth be applied uniformly among the same class of subjects. Taylor’s legislation—House Bill 1871-- will permit Philadelphia to impose taxes on real estate used for business purposes at a tax rate that exceeds the tax rate applicable to other real estate. That rate cannot vary by more than 15 percent from the rate applicable to other real estate.
Most importantly, Philadelphia must then reduce the aggregate revenues of wage and business taxes by the amount of any real estate tax revenues attributable to the rate variance.
Because the bill would amend the state Constitution, it must pass the Legislature this session and again in the 2017-18 term. It would then go before the voters.
“We must remove this constitutional barrier, and reduce the city’s wage tax dramatically,” Taylor said.
The bill now moves to the Senate for a vote.
Representative John Taylor
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: David Foster