Under Kenney's proposed budget, wage tax would be at lowest rate since 1975 - Technical.ly Philly


Mar. 3, 2016 4:02 pm

Under Kenney’s proposed budget, wage tax would be at lowest rate since 1975

Announced today, here's one of the Mayor's initiatives to support the business community.

Mayor Kenney.

(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.

Juliana Reyes

Juliana Reyes became Technical.ly's associate editor after reporting on the Philadelphia tech scene for four years. She's co-president of the Asian American Journalists Association Philadelphia chapter and a two-time Philadelphia News Award winner for "Community Reporting of the Year." The Bryn Mawr College grad lives in West Philly, likes her food spicy and wears jumpsuits often.

  • bruceent

    Note that this dope says he’s reducing the wage tax for the residents; nothing about those that come to work from the suburbs. He has spent his entire career making it hard to do business in Philadelphia, and now he’s the champion of business? NFW

    • Juliana Reyes

      Actually, he proposed lowering the wage tax from 3.348% to 3.33% by 2021. We should’ve included that in the story.


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