(Photo by Stephanie Aaronson/The Next Mayor)
For the last 20 years, Philadelphia’s mayors have been chipping away at the city wage tax. Mayor Kenney will be no different.
In his budget address Thursday morning, Kenney announced that in the next five years, he plans to lower the wage tax from 3.91 percent to 3.73 percent for city residents and 3.348 percent to 3.33 percent for non-city residents — the lowest wage tax rate since 1975, but still not quite a “competitive” rate, according to Wharton professor and tax analyst Bob Inman. Competitive, he said, is 2-3 percent. (Inman also championed a slow and steady reduction of the wage tax.)
It’s a move that the Chamber of Commerce cheered.
In a statement, the Chamber said that it “strongly supports these pro-growth reforms, and encourages steps that would allow for these tax reductions to be increased in the next few years to support growth and job creation.”
It’s worth noting that many of the founders we’ve spoken to said that the city wage tax is not a deal-breaker when it comes to choosing where to locate their businesses. The issue that comes up more and more? The quality of the city’s schools, a main focus of Kenney’s budget address.