Council looks at raising transfer tax to help fix homes of low-income Philly residents

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A plan to increase the real estate transfer tax is getting mixed reviews in Philadelphia City Council. 

The proposal is to add one-tenth of 1 percent to the current 3 percent tax on real estate transfers.  

Councilwoman Cherelle Parker said the money would be used to help very poor homeowners fix basic systems.

“This is not just morally right, this is economically sound and makes good economic sense for neighborhoods throughout the city of Philadelphia,” Parker said Thursday.

Councilman Alan Domb, who supports the goal, said increasing the tax could be a bad idea.

“We should do this,” he said. “The only issue that I am concerned about isn’t the dollars they raise, it’s  the message it sends … raising the transfer tax sends a bad message.”

Instead, Domb suggested raising money by collecting more property tax on land that’s underassessed.

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