This essay from Councilman Curtis Jones, Jr. was featured in this month’s edition of The Fallser.
This month, Philadelphia City Council embarks on a new budget season. I fully engage in budget hearings each year as budgeting is one of my chief duties as your Councilman. As the fair and efficient allocation of scarce resources is a cornerstone of good government, my priority from year to year is to figure out how best to maximize delivery of services to my constituents in the 4th District.
Either through securing investments in improvements that go to playgrounds, streetlights and roads via capital dollars, or through activity grants used to sponsor community and civic events, I remain an advocate for resources that improve the quality of life for all residents in my district.
It is during this budget season that one of my first pieces of legislation, the Internship Tax Credit, is being fully implemented within the Department of Revenue.
Under this legislation, signed into law by Mayor Michael Nutter in 2010, businesses will be able to claim a $600 credit for hiring a high school or college level intern. Businesses that hire three or more interns will be entitled to take an additional credit of $75 per internship, up to a maximum of $375.
Business would have to pay interns a minimum of $8 per hour to be eligible for the tax credit, and the intern would be required to work a minimum of six weeks. Businesses in commercial corridors in East Falls, Roxborough and Manayunk would benefit from this credit, as these areas boast a diversity of small businesses and growing creative industries.
We created this law with the purpose of providing a viable pool of talent for local businesses and preventing the ‘brain drain’ that happens in Philadelphia, where we welcome thousands of students to our first rate universities and professional schools– such as St. Joseph’s University, Philadelphia University and Drexel College of Medicine – and witness their exodus upon graduation. With this legislation, I wanted to incentivize engagement with students who may not be exposed to the culture and growing industries in East Falls, Roxborough and Manayunk, and provide pathways to careers here in Philadelphia.
I’m excited the credit is going into effect this fiscal year and I encourage all businesses to apply. Visit the Philadelphia Department of Revenue’s website or call (215) 686-6600 for more information about the tax credit. As always, my staff is available for information and assistance at (215) 686-3416 or 3417.