Our Schools Need Full and Fair Funding
Governor Corbett has cut 1 BILLION dollars from public education since 2010. Philadelphia is caught in a statewide crisis causing 70 % of PA districts to increase class sizes and over 20,000 school professionals to lose their jobs. Our schools are on the brink of starvation. Without new revenue every Philadelphia school is looking at a 40% cut over two years. This means no counselors, no librarians, no secretaries, no arts and music, no extra curricular activities and class sizes of 30 to 33 kids. Racial and economic gaps in opportunities to learn will widen. Would you cut an already undernourished person’s food ration in half?
Meanwhile, Governor Corbett has prioritized $800 MILLION in new corporate tax breaks on the backs of kids, the elderly and the most vulnerable citizens. But, we are stuck with this dangerously irresponsible & extremist Governor until 2014. Our schools and families are being attacked. It is up to YOU our local leaders; Mayor Nutter and City Council to raise the revenues we need to protect our schools from the harm we see ahead and to reach an agreement with the PFT that is good for students and fair to teachers and staff. Current calls for concessions drives talented people away. PCAPS believes more than $60 million is needed and revenue needs to come from big business. Working people have paid more and gotten less for years. It’s time to shift the burden to those corporate interests who have avoided paying their fair share. Here are some ideas:
◦ Aggressive action on tax delinquents Speculators and corporate interests who don’t pay their property taxes need to be targeted. Mayor Nutter has really let us all down on this. Council can turn up the heat & light.
◦ Cut the tax abatement “free pass” Enact Councilman Goode’s abatement reform bill. It cuts the 10 year property tax “free pass” to 5 years. This is fair to both long-time residents and “the new, the few and well-to do”.
◦ Tax Corporations. Councilwoman Quinones-Sanchez’ Use & Occupancy tax reform bill would restore fairness to our AVI efforts. It is a myth that tax cuts for the rich create jobs. They lead to bigger bonuses for CEOs. U&O reform reduces the tax burden on a majority small businesses.
◦ Make mega “non-profits” pay taxes on their profitable property Huge non-profits in our city own prime real estate, use city services, yet use some property for commercial purposes. Property used for non-charitable activities can now legally be taxed. We urge the Mayor to fulfill his responsibility on this matter.
PCAPS salutes Council for standing up against mass school closures. We call on Mayor Nutter, the Education Mayor and Council to lead us through the funding crisis & raise needed revenue consistent with tax fairness.