Philadelphia City Council looking at more than property taxes deadbeats

With Philadelphia owed more than half a billion dollars worth of back taxes, City Council is holding another day of hearings looking for better ways to go after deadbeats.

Council is looking at more than property taxes.

 

Councilman Jim Kenney says he thinks contractors are not paying their wage or business privilege taxes by doing their work at odd hours and taking cash.

“I was banging around North Philly this last number of months, people putting roofs on a hours at two o’clock in the morning using a blowtorch, and there’s no one to stop them, and no one seems to care to stop them,” said Kenney.

Philadelphia Gas Works CEO Craig White says when the utility considers collections, it evaluates a customer’s history.

“We do risk based collections,” said White. “What we do is we look at your history and we can determine if you are going to pay your bill late we may have one collection strategy for you. The phone call to you may be different than the consumer that we believe is not going to pay us at all.”

Council members are hoping that collecting back taxes more aggressively will help them to set a new property tax rate as low as possible.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.