News and views on current affairs, politics, sports and whatever else I feel like.

Philly sales tax rises to 8%

Philadelphia’s sales tax increase, from 7% to 8%, went into effect today. The increase, was necessitated by last month’s emergency budget resolution that avoided massive layoffs of city employees and cuts in city services.

Like anyone, I hate having to pay more in taxes. But if the alternative would have been Philadelphia turning into Detroit or worse, then I guess it was a necessary evil. My only request is one that I keep making but never gets fulfilled – that our politicians eventually have the guts to make real fixes to the system, so that we don’t end up back in this same spot again down the road. Unfortunately, I have found most politicians to favor short-term “quick fixes” that just perpetuate the vicious cycle, either because the vicious cycle benefits them personally or just because they can’t think beyond their next re-election campaign.

On a better note, the city took a step toward fixing its broken property tax system when the Board of Revision of Taxes agreed to relinquish its responsibility for setting tax values. A Philadelphia Inquirer series earlier this year exposed poor management and cronyism within the BRT.

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