Friday, November 07, 2008


Just as battle lines are hardening comes the news that could end the battle: city wage tax revenues were up so much in November that city wage tax collections are now $24,404,000 AHEAD of where they were projected to be at the time the city passed the budget.If the $4,881,000 a month figure that the city is ahead of revenue projections were to hold, the city would gain an additional $34,167,000 AHEAD of wage tax revenue projections for the remaining seven months of the fiscal year, giving the city an additional $58,571,000 in wage tax revenue collections than was projected.As good as that news is for the city's fiscal health, it's not the most optimistic way to look at the numbers. In the first five months of the year, the city has collected $625,757,000 in wage tax revenues, an average of $125,141, 400 a month. If that trend were to continue for the rest of the fiscal year, the city would collect $1,501,567,000 in wage tax revenues this year, or $345,001,001 above the $1,156,566 projected in wage for this year.State revenues from income tax collections also grew in November, prompting me to request this update from the city.My theory is this: economic anxiety is causing many people to accept all overtime offered and to accept job offers they might have otherwise rejected.Wage tax revenues are not the whole story of course: the city property tax revenues and business privilege tax revenues have not yet been tabulated. And declines in real estate transfer tax revenues and sales tax revenues are eating up most of the wage tax surplus. But still, the three taxes combined are producing a net surplus above projections for the first five months of $4,209,000, a far cry from the desperate financial crisis we have been warned about. That comes out to $851,800 a month, or a net surplus above projections for these three taxes of $10,221,600.

December 17, 2008


The people whose services are being cut receive little if any benefit from the city tax cuts in the wage tax and the business privilege tax.It is absolutely wrong to cut services to low and moderate income people to pay for tax cuts for the more affluent.As an intellectual exercise, people should talk about eliminating library services in the areas of the city that have the greatest access to the internet, university libraries, bookstores, professional libraries, kindle, etc. Had Mayor Nutter proposed cutting library services to these areas, the outcry would have been so huge that the fiscal problem would have been solved already.

November 7, 2008