Kenney says Philly tax abatement is here to stay

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 Philadelphia Councilman Allan Domb (left) and Mayor Jim Kenney talk about the city's tax-abatement program. (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

Philadelphia Councilman Allan Domb (left) and Mayor Jim Kenney talk about the city's tax-abatement program. (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

The mayor of Philadelphia said he will not consider ending tax abatements.  He may even extend some of them.

Providing the tax reductions to encourage new construction or major improvements has helped Philadelphia’s economy, said Mayor Jim Kenney.

“Because they are effective and they have basically created most, if not all, of the residential and commercial development we have seen in many neighborhoods across the city,” he said.

Kenney, who said the incentives help attract wealthy individuals, investors and businesses, said the abatements are made up in other taxes, such as the wage tax.

“Chase Utley, who used to play for the Phillies, bought a $4 million or $5 million condo in Center City,” Kenney said. “Two years of his wage taxes paid for the abatement.”

City Councilman Allan Domb, who has spent his career in real estate, said the abatements helped new housing starts in Philadelphia grow far faster than in surrounding suburbs.

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