EDITORIAL/Tax hike unnecessary
A successful economic development strategy involves cultivating, educating and growing the local workforce, recruiting good manufacturing and distribution jobs and maintaining a low tax rate.
Local working people will spend their own money locally with local merchants. Growth is the winning formula.
Instead, the Mayor and Board of Aldermen voted 3-2 last week to raise taxes again and that’s dangerous.
Astonishingly, because there hasn’t been an audit since 2017, some of these career Democrat overlords still in favor of the tax hike don’t really even know how much money they have in the bank.
Yet, they are reaching in and taking more money out of our pockets.
Creating new jobs — good jobs — has always been the key to successful economic development.
Philadelphia will be more competitive when our leaders create new jobs, lower taxes and pay city workers their due.
Pay raises are not the issue here because aldermen could still award those without raising taxes.
Ironically, one of the Democrat politicians pressing for the tax hike was so delinquent on his personal taxes that his property was sold at auction last month.
When this newly-minted politician who ran as an Independent got word there was going to be a story in the Democrat about his delinquent taxes, he went and paid his bill last Tuesday morning and voted on the tax hike Wednesday afternoon.
Having the paperwork to prove he paid, as he boasted before the tax hike vote, doesn’t make it right to be delinquent and then vote to raise everybody else’s taxes.
Taxing people into prosperity has never worked anywhere in the world. Eventually, you run out of other people’s money.
Exhausting more than $7 million in reserves as they operated at a deficit over seven years, the city of Philadelphia doubled taxes in 2014.
So hiking taxes again is a dangerous and destructive pattern in our local economy.
With audits overdue, how much money does the city really have in the bank?
And about those audits, at least there were good concerns last week.
Ward 2 Alderman Jim Fulton asked if the city should contact the State Auditor’s Office since they are so far behind on the audits.
“Let me ask y’all a question,” Fulton said. “Since this thing is behind, do we need to notify the State Auditor?”
More aldermen raised concerns.
“We only got this 30 seconds ago,” said Ward 1 Alderman Justin Clearman. “So, if we would have gotten them signed copies of a fine line quote … They can’t do it without it. So, it’s our fault that they aren’t going to do the audit?”
A required letter of engagement was never signed by the city of Philadelphia for auditing services the last half decade, records obtained by the Democrat show.
What’s more, only a minimal amount of financial information requested from the City Clerk was ever provided over the last two years for an audit, it has been revealed.
Now a Pearl accounting firm has pledged to get the city out of a potential bind with the State Auditor over the past-due audits, according to Mayor James A. Young.
The winning strategy is growing jobs, lower taxes and here public accountability.
Philadelphia has a lot of sorting out to do and we feel like there are members of the board who are going to ask the right questions and demand accountability now that they have seen.