If you commute on the Ben Franklin, the Walt Whitman, the Betsy Ross, or–my personal favorite–the Commodore Perry, you will not have to pay a penny more next year in tolls or fares.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past few weeks, you’re probably aware that tomorrow is the 50th anniversary of the assassination of JFK. Documentaries on PBS are re-telling the day, historical and media figures who I thought were long dead are being wheeled out of their nursing homes to share their stories, old conspiracy tales are re-hashed and, thanks to YouTube, I’ve watched the Zapruder film dozens of times (and Miley’s new video, too, which is so a-w-e-s-o-m-e).
From all of this I’ve come to two conclusions: A 48-year-old man should not be watching Miley Cyrus videos because it’s kind of creepy. And, as a small business owner, I am damned glad I didn’t live in 1963, let alone run a business back then. And here are eight good reasons why.
Monday was a bad day for Robert Mattei. The co-owner of the Nifty Fifty’s restaurants, known for their cheap hamburgers, thick milkshakes, and 1950s decor, was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison for his role in a tax evasion scheme that went on for more than 20 years, according to court records. Mattei had pleaded guilty to tax evasion and fraud in 2012. Read more »
Many people were surprised earlier this week when casino-mogul Steve Wynn announced he was backing out of his plans to build a gambling resort in Philadelphia’s Fishtown section. It’s really not that surprising. Wynn thinks big. He’s building a $4 billion resort on the tiny island of Macau. His casino in Vegas makes the word “opulent” seem understated. He’s after big money, big fame, big publicity. And Philadelphia is not the place for this. It’s not that big a market. There’s already a lot of competition. And most importantly, it’s not New York.
New York is the place for Wynn. So when New York’s voters last week approved a resolution that could potentially allow gambling in the city, I’m sure Wynn’s mouth watered. I mean, c’mon, if you’re a big-thinking, big-playing kind of guy like Steve Wynn, why in the world would you waste your money investing in Philly when you can make a splash in New York City, just 90 miles up the road. It’s New York. It’s not Philly.
Could our city have done anything to save the deal and keep him here?
The New York Times reports: “The Internal Revenue Service plans to delay the start of tax-filing season by a week or two because of the government shutdown, the agency said on Tuesday. But taxpayers will still have to turn in their 2013 returns by April 15 as usual. … It will be the second year in a row that the I.R.S. has held off accepting tax returns because of a political standoff. This year, after months of negotiations, Congress passed and President Obama signed a major fiscal deal adjusting tax rates just after New Year, leading the I.R.S. to delay the start of the filing season to Jan. 30 from Jan. 22.” This year’s new start date has not yet been determined.
Conservative critics of government social welfare programs argue that private charity, which Americans engage in on a vast scale, can help those in need better and more effectively.
But that charity does little to address or reduce social inequality, for it turns out that it’s largely a form of self-help.
Chris Sawyer, the often acerbic operator of Philadelinquency and high-ranking lieutenant in the war-of-words down in Point Breeze, has published his latest map of delinquent properties in Philly.
Read more »
Newsworks reminds us that midnight tonight is the deadline to appeal your new property tax assessments. “Fueled by Philadelphia’s city-wide property re-assessment, as of mid-day Friday 6,000 property owners had already filed second-level appeals to the Board of Revision of Taxes. BRT Executive Director Carla Pagan says this deadline could not be pushed back, even though first-level appeals are still being processed.” Hearings on these second-level appeals begin in January.
CBS Philly reports that City Hall is promising a more-vigorous effort to collect the “school tax,” in light of the district’s ongoing funding woes. “The so-called School Tax is a tax that many Philadelphians have never heard of. It applies to income from dividends, short-term capital gains, and other unearned income outside of retirement accounts. Revenue commissioner Clarena Tolson told City Council’s Rules Committee today that the tax often goes unpaid, due to ignorance or deception.”
The tax generated about $25 million last year, officials say.
Mission Grill closed its doors to the public in early August but that hasn’t stopped the City of Philadelphia Department of Revenue from slapping a big old cease and desist order on the doors of the now vacant restaurant. Revenue department closures seem to be on the uptick. Philadelphia Weekly has the story behind Bob’s Happy Hour Tavern in Fishtown’s tax-related closure. The Daily News has also recently reported on the use of tax delinquency to get three West Philadelphia bars shuttered.
This all comes ahead of October 31st, when all the state’s liquor licenses come up for renewal. A renewal that requires all state taxes to be paid up and is often the straw that breaks the struggling bar’s back. Looks like proprietors now had better make sure the local taxes are paid in full as well.