Philly journalist Patrick Kerkstra directs his Twitter followers to two important pieces on the 10-year tax abatements: one by Tom Ferrick; the other by John Kromer, both at AxisPhilly. As Kerkstra notes, the pair of articles are well worth reading, but perhaps the most important takeaway from both–and from economist Kevin Gillen’s April report on the subject–is that any rash moves on the part of the mayor or City Council would be a mistake.
Fifteen years ago, in the dialogue that led to the approval of the first 10-year abatement, developers cited four barriers to doing business in Philadelphia: struggling public schools, the city wage tax, the cost of labor relative to the suburbs, and delays in the permitting and regulatory approval process. These barriers remain. When they’re eliminated, we can talk about reducing or doing away with the 10-year abatement, but not before then.
• Tax abatements underwrite high union wages [AxisPhilly]
• Sharing the wealth: How to fix the 10-year tax abatement [AxisPhilly]