For Philadelphia, property tax hike or trash fee?

    Council proposed property tax hike half the size of one it rejected last year

    Philadelphia city council is exploring new options for closing a $150 million budget deficit this year, including a possible ten percent hike in city property taxes. Council members have said they’d reject proposals to tax sugary drinks and impose a fee on trash pickup.

    Nothing is carved in stone, but if council passes a property tax increase of roughly ten percent, the average Philadelphian would see his bill rise by about $139. That compares to the proposed $300 trash fee and a drinks tax that would raise the price of a can of soda 24 cents.

    Philadelphia Budget Director Steve Agostini says some council members have said the drink tax and trash fee were unfair to poorer residents.

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    “Some members were concerned about what they perceived to be its regressive nature, and that they felt the property tax increase would be more equitable, more progressive.”

    A ten percent property tax hike would net the city about $85 million, far short of the budget goal. The mayor and council members have asked departments how they could cut their office budgets, suggesting possible layoffs.

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