February 20: Second highest tax burden | Feibush campaign fundraising | Eastern Tower financing plan | PATCO construction schedule | Port Richmond water-main break

Hello Streeters! We hope you catch some sunshine this morning, since the forecast for this afternoon and tomorrow looks cloudy with a mix of rain showers. 

Philadelphia has the second-highest tax burden of any city in the United States, according to a nationwide comparison performed by the Government of District of Columbia. 

Controversial Point Breeze developer Ori Feibush plans to raise $2 million by the end of the year for his City Council campaign to unseat 2nd District Councilman Kenyatta Johnson. City Paper reports that Mayor Nutter raised around $2.9 million for his 2007 mayoral run, and Feibush’s pledge could make next year’s council primary the most expensive in city history. Feibush says he is running on a pro-business and anti-blight platform. 

The Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation (PCDC) hopes to fund the long-planned Eastern Tower with $33 million from affluent immigrants in exchange for green cards. The 23-story Eastern Tower is proposed for a vacant lot at 10th and Vine Street. The development will include a community center, 143 rental apartments, retail space and offices for medical, educational and social services. The total project cost is expected to be $75 million. 

Under pressure from passengers frustrated with late trains and crowded platforms, PATCO may temporarily reduce track-replacement constructions work to the weekends. Last month PATCO began closing one of its two tracks from 11am Fridays until 3:30am Tuesdays. The schedule caused delays of up to 30 minutes between some peak trains and complicated maintenance issues when trains broke down on the single track.  

At least 20 people were evacuated from their homes after a water-main broke and caused concern of a gas leak in Port Richmond yesterday. A spokeswoman from Philadelphia Gas Works said there was no gas leak, but service was turned off to keep water from entering a gas main. At least 10 properties reported having water in their basement. 

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