Philadelphia Business Owners React to Potential Tax Increase

By: Candace Barnette Email
By: Candace Barnette Email

After Philadelphia Mayor James Young and the Board of Aldermen proposed a tax increase, many small business owners voiced their concerns. Mayor Young says the city has not seen a tax increase in about a decade, and now it's time.

"The revenue is not keeping up with the cost of doing business," Mayor Young said. "We're trying to cut in areas we can cut to save money on both ends because I believe you have to have a balanced of controlled spending and revenue."

He and the board have proposed doubling the general fund millage from 10 to 20 mills. Philadelphia businesses may be most impacted if the increase is passed. Many of those business owners said while they understand taxes are a necessary evil, they think doubling the millage is a bit extreme.

"They need a little bit more of a plan," said Steve Wilkerson, owner of Steve's on the Square. "Like here's what our four year plan is. We're going to increase so much this year and so much this year, and we're going to cut spending by so much and balance the budget in a year, two years, three years, whatever the plan is. But I think all people have heard and seen is 'tax increase'."

That impact reaches beyond the pocketbooks of just businesses. Businesses like Corks say they understand why the tax increase is necessary. However, customers are going to have to start seeing an increase in prices to make up for the money that's being lost.

"It may be 2 or 3 percent or 4 percent or 5 percent here and 5 percent there, but I think everybody's going to have to kind of inch up to absorb the cost," said Clay Young, owner of Corks.

The board will vote on whether to approve the tax increase on Tuesday Sept. 10.


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