Stephen William | Tribune
May 31, 2022
A group of business chambers, business groups and diverse businesses in Philadelphia, are calling on Mayor Jim Kenney and City Council to make substantial wage and business cuts in fiscal year 2023. They are holding a rally at noon on Wednesday on the north side of City Hall.
The rally is billed “Give Philly a Raise!” said William Carter IV, Esq., Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia vice president for local advocacy and engagement, said the cuts would allow city businesses to grow, hire and give workers a reduction in their taxes.
In addition to the Philadelphia chamber, other groups in support of the rally include: the African American Chamber of Commerce, the Asian Chamber of Commerce, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Laborers’ District Council, Urban League of Philadelphia, OIC Philadelphia, Citizens Bank and Mosaic Development Partners.
“This is something that has been debated and talked about for decades, but the city of the Philadelphia has the nation’s highest wage tax,” Carter said. “For years, that has been talked about by businesses who wanted to move out the city and businesses who have moved out of the city, small, mid-sized and large. It deters employers from coming into our city. We want more jobs in the city.” In Philadelphia, businesses are taxed on sales and income.
“We are the only major city that double taxes for its businesses,” Carter said. “We know that the time is now to make this happen, given that we are coming out of the pandemic.”
Earlier this month, Kenney said he was proposing a cut in the city’s wage tax. For example, the mayor would cut wage taxes for city residents to 3.7%, down from 3.84%. Non-residents would see a cut in their wage taxes to 3.4%, down from 3.481%.
According to the mayor’s office, the cuts would be the lowest wage taxes since 1976 and provide an estimated $260 million in relief. Tonya Ladipo, is founder and CEO of the Ladipo Group in Philadelphia, a Black-owned firm dedicated to the emotional well-being of African Americans and their communities and a supporter of the rally.
“Everyone wants to live and work in a city that is safe and clean everywhere, not just in some ZIP codes. Residents and businesses want to pay their fair share of taxes, no more or less, and receive quality city services as a result. Now is the time for local government to create policies and tax structures that benefit businesses and residents alike. The $1.4 billion in federal relief from the American Rescue Plan is an opportunity to consider how best to support businesses and residents alike and give Philly workers a raise,” Ladipo said.