City Council teeters on the brink of doing nothing in the face of the most devastating cuts to education in the history of our School District.
The only bill that could insure additional funding for schools is the Use and Occupancy tax reform bill that would cancel a tax windfall for corporate landlords while protecting small business. It would raise an estimated 31 million for the schools. Yet Council President Darrel Clark seems bent on avoiding passing this legislation, pinning hopes on a cigarette tax that requires prior approval by the state, something that is far from a sure thing. Council has already rejected another measure, an increase in the liquor by the drink tax, that also requires enabling legislation by the state.
Clark, along with the Mayor, cite increased revenue from going after tax delinquents. While we fully support aggressive action in this area, it is unclear how this will happen and, again, the money is far from certain.
By appearing to turn its back on the one bill that combines a serious commitment to more funding with tax fairness, Council weakens the critical efforts of school advocates to make the case for more funding in Harrisburg, something we, along with our allies, think is essential to avoiding a doomsday outcome in Philadelphia, and we would add, across much of the state as well.
Please come out to Council on Thursday at 11am to make your voice heard: To speak call 215-686-3410. Call or Tweet Council President Clark and Education Chair Jannie Blackwell and demand passage of the Quinones-Sanchez Use and Occupancy tax reform bill.
- Darrell L. Clarke, District 5
- City Hall, Room 313
- (215)686-3442, (215)686-3443
- Twitter: @Darrell_Clarke
- Jannie Blackwell, District 3
- City Hall, Room 408
- (215) 686-3418, (215) 686-3419