Donald Trump’s Tax Plan Costs Government $10 Trillion

Developer Donald Trump displays a copy of his net worth during his announcement that he will seek the Republican nomination for president, Tuesday, June 16, 2015, in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Like it or not, Donald Trump is looking more like a presidential candidate that’s in the race for the long haul — and now he’s beginning to offer specifics into what a Trump presidency would look like.

Earlier this week, he released his plan to change the United States tax code. It would consolidate seven tax brackets into four, and create a large base of people who pay no taxes at all. Top earners would see their tax rate fall from 39.6 percent to 25 percent, while those earning $50,000 to $150,000 per year would pay 20 percent. Trump says the plan would lead to growth of upwards of 6 percent per year. Read more »

Why Camden and Its $1 Billion in Tax Breaks Isn’t Growing at Philly’s Expense


Since September 2013, when Gov. Chris Christie signed into law New Jersey’s Economic Opportunity Act of 2013, the state has approved more than $2 billion in tax credits and incentives for the recruitment and retention of jobs and capital investment. A main focus of the Act was to incentivize development in economically distressed areas — especially Camden.

As a result, more than $1 billion in tax credits have been approved for companies to relocate or expand in Camden such as Holtec International, the Philadelphia 76ers, Subaru, American Water, Lockheed Martin, European Metal Recycling, and Cooper Health. (See the table below for more detail.) Read more »

Study: PA Has Second-Highest Tax Rate for a Coprorate HQ

(Creativa Images/Shutterstock)

(Creativa Images/Shutterstock)

Pennsylvania’s tax rate is particularly tough on corporate headquarters and independent retail stores, according to a new study by the Tax Foundation and KPMG. The state is kind to capital-intensive manufacturing and labor-intensive manufacturing, the study found.

In an effort to examine corporate tax costs in all 50 states, researchers designed seven model firms, and calculated each firm’s tax bill in each state. Each firm was modeled twice in each state: once as a new firm eligible for tax incentives, and once as a mature firm not eligible for such incentives. Read more »

Did Philly’s Biggest Dark Money Group Break the Law?

1. The dark money outfit Philadelphia 3.0 may have violated city law — and been a flop.

The gist: A new, intriguing organization sprung up this year that was aimed at taking out some City Council incumbents and replacing them with more business-friendly faces. Parking magnate Robert Zuritsky founded Philadelphia 3.0, which includes both a traditional political action committee and a more secretive nonprofit corporation. NewsWorks’ Dave Davies reports that the Philadelphia 3.0 PAC raised 72 percent of its funding in 2015 from its own nonprofit, which is not revealing its donors. Is that legal in Philadelphia? Campaign finance expert John Dunbar said “there’s nothing in federal court rulings that prevent cities from requiring disclosure from nonprofit corporations like Philadelphia 3.0, and the city Ethics Board has said it expects such groups to disclose their donors,” writes Davies.

Read more »

The Brief: We’ll Soon Know the Names of All Cops Who Shoot Civilians

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey. AP | Matt Rourke

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey. AP | Matt Rourke

1. The police department is going to start releasing the names of officers who fire at civilians.

The gistCity Paper reports that Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey announced in a memo yesterday that “the department will immediately begin disclosing the names of officers who discharge their firearms in Officer-Involved Shootings ‘within seventy-two (72) hours of the incident.'” According to the memo, this was one of the recommendations made by the U.S. Department of Justice in its scathing report on police shootings in Philadelphia. Also, the department will examine each case to ensure that “no threats are made toward the officer or members of their family prior to the release of this information.” Read more »

5 Questions About the Future of Philly’s Schools

Students have a modest request of City Council. | Photo  courtesy of Philadelphia City Council. Produced and Edited by Michael Falconi and Jenae Brown.

Earlier this year, students made a modest request of City Council. | Photo Credit: City Council’s Flickr

Philadelphia City Council did something Thursday that it’s done a lot in recent years: voted to increase both taxes and education funding. Lawmakers expect to raise an extra $70 million for the city’s schools by hiking the property, parking and use-and-occupancy levies.

So, where does that leave the school district? Somewhat better off than it was before, no doubt. But it’s not out of the woods yet, either. Its future depends on the answers to these five big questions, which we should learn in the coming weeks: Read more »

Philly Is Getting an 8.5% Airbnb Tax

Photo courtesy of Airbnb

Photo courtesy of Airbnb

Airbnb is about to get a lot less laissez-faire in Philadelphia.

City Council passed a bill, 15-0, Thursday, which is expected to be signed into law by Mayor Michael Nutter, that will force anyone who rents out their home on Airbnb or similar websites to pay Philly’s 8.5 percent hotel tax. That’s just the first new rule that will go into effect under the legislation: Hosts who rent out their homes for more than 90 days will have to get a rental license, and no one will able to rent out their homes for more than 180 days annually.

Currently, many people who use Airbnb in Philadelphia are technically part of the city’s black market, since short-term rentals are not permitted in residential areas. This new bill will legalize the industry. Read more »

The Brief: Philly’s Maternal Mortality Rate Is Worse Than Libya’s


Photo |

1. A new report digs into Philadelphia’s extremely high maternal mortality rate.

The gist: The city’s maternal mortality rate is 27.4 per 100,000 births, according to a new study by the Department of Public Health. “The surprising findings for many people was that so many of these tragic deaths were related to social-economic status,” perinatologist Jason Baxter told NewsWorks. Other causes include domestic violence, drug addiction, mental health issues and chronic disease. Read more »

The Brief: Stu Bykofsky’s Candidates’ Comedy Night Is Ending

1. Stu Bykofsky’s 25th Candidates’ Comedy Night will be the last.

The gist: For the past two-and-a-half decades, Daily News reporter Stu Bykofsky has convinced city, state and federal candidates to get up on stage and tell jokes for a good cause. (Well, try to tell jokes, at least. With the exception of state Sen. Daylin Leach, few politicians are actually funny.) All of the proceeds from Bykofsky’s Candidates’ Comedy Night go to Variety, a children’s charity. But Bykofsky says that this year’s comedy night on August 11th will be the final act. Bykofsky explained why he is wrapping up the event in an article today: “Let’s start with the truism that all good things must come to an end. It is an immutable fact I cannot do it forever, and 25 years is a mark often used in retirements.” Read more »

Big Parking, Property Tax Hikes Proposed to Fund City Schools

Bill Greenlee | Photo via City Council's Flickr

Bill Greenlee | Photo via City Council’s Flickr

[Updated at 1:10 p.m.]

Philadelphia City Council introduced legislation Thursday to hike three taxes in order to help fund the school district.

Though lawmakers have been pooh-poohing Mayor Michael Nutter’s proposal to increase education finding with a big ol’ 9 percent property tax hike for months, this is the first major step they’ve taken to advance an alternative plan.

Councilman Bill Greenlee proposed raising the parking tax from 20 percent to 22.5 percent.

“I’m putting this in as one of the options to look at,” he said. “We’re not making any firm decisions on anything yet.”Inline image 1

Council members also sponsored legislation Thursday to increase the property tax from 1.34 percent to almost 1.4 percent, and to boost the use-and-occupancy tax from 1.13 percent to 1.21 percent.  Read more »

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