Mayor Michael Nutter has announced a proposed agreement to privatize Philadelphia Gas Works. The...
Published: 01/09/2014 | 2 Comments Posted
Who benefits from tax abatements?
As Daniel Denvir notes in his terrific column, “How the Rich Stole Christmas," property-tax abatements will cost city schools nearly $50 million in lost tax revenue in 2014 alone. Public school students suffer, but who benefits?
Wealthy former Main Liners and Manhattanites, who are trying to escape the boredom of people exactly like themselves by moving to luxury lofts occupied by more people exactly like themselves, benefit from residential tax abatements.
Property-tax-free occupants of Symphony House, Waterfront Square, the Ritz-Carlton, and Dockside can commute to and from work or other Center City destinations via courtesy shuttles in order to avoid any unwanted contact with working- or middle-class Philadelphians or their sidewalks, underscoring that wealth doesn’t trickle down to the community if it doesn’t enter the community.
As for the trickle-down effect of corporate welfare on the surrounding community, this theory has already been debunked in the context of publicly funded sports stadiums. See, for example, the work of John Siegfried and Andrew Zimbalist in the Journal of Economic Perspectives, which concludes that “there is virtually no evidence of any perceptible economic development beneﬁts from sports teams or stadiums.”
Why would giving $28.8 million worth of tax breaks to Comcast lead to a different result? (Incidentally, Comcast’s 2012 revenue: $62.5 billion. The Philadelphia Eagles’ 2012 revenue: $306 million. I guess our collective subsidy for Shady McCoy is a bargain.)
Tax abatements must end, effective immediately. If Philadelphians who have both resources and souls want to refocus them on a year-round effort that extends beyond Philabundance donations at the holidays, try unionizing the South (and South India) to give corporations one fewer excuse not to do business here once we stop “incentivizing” them so lavishly and unnecessarily.
Long Live the King of Jeans
“I always kind of wanted to live in a dream world where Duran Duran artwork comes to life, and...
Civic leader Claudia Sherrod sells property being used as an illegal dump, sues business partner.
Claudia Sherrod, head of the South Philadelphia H.O.M.E.S., Inc. civic group, is fighting a legal...