A Philadelphia city council committee has approved an increase to the city Use and Occupancy tax.
The approval came after an extended hearing with both school suporters of the move and members of the business community who were against the increase.
The increase would help schools and avoid other proposed tax hikes.
Constitution High School Student Madeline Clapier says her ability to go to a good college is being hurt because the district isn’t offering her the proper classes.
“I’m at the top of my class I have good SAT scores and I have five extracurriculars. What’s keeping me from these schools, it’s something really simple that should be available to me, my Spanish credits. The budget cuts are keeping me from taking four years of Spanish,” she said.
Former schools CEO Phil Goldsmith says the district is performing fiscal triage. “In starving our traditional public schools we are abandoning our kids of the battlefield of public education.”
Maria Gonzales came to represent businesses in the Lehigh Avenue corridor.
“The increased costs of doing business has made it very difficult for merchants to invest in the businesses, keep people employed, and pay ongoing business expenses to keep their doors open everyday.”
The increase in business taxes is designed as an alternative to Mayor Nutter’s plan to increase alcohol and cigarette taxes.