Councilman proposes cutting Philly wage tax by half over 10 years

Listen
 Philadelphia City Council member David Oh.(Emma Lee/for NewsWorks)

Philadelphia City Council member David Oh.(Emma Lee/for NewsWorks)

A Philadelphia city councilman has made a radical tax cut proposal. 

Councilman David Oh wants to cut the wage and net profit taxes by nearly half over the next 10 years as a way of convincing more businesses to set up operations in the city.

“What it does very significantly is that it tells employers that they can stay and expand in Philadelphia and invites new employers to come to our city,” Oh said. “Because in 10 years, our wage tax will drop from 3.92 percent to 2.09 percent.”

How can a city that is struggling to survive and keep its schools afloat afford the massive tax cut? The councilman is confident he has the answer.

“In the last budget, I identified $48 million in soft money or unidentified money,” he said. “In addition, let me say, there’s a lot of other potential revenue sources — including the often talked about $500 million in uncollected taxes of which about $150 million is collectible.”

The proposal would reduce tax collections $100 million over 10 years, Oh estimated.

A spokesman for the Nutter administration says officials expect a “full and rich” discussion of the appropriate level and mix of taxes as part of the budget process.

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.