May 7: real tax reform | Market East hospitality | eagles return | St. John the Evangelist demolition | Carpenter Green

Good morning, Streeters. We’re full of questions this morning.

Can Philadelphia afford to lower its wage and business taxes? Can it afford not to? Writing for Next City, Patrick Kerkstra explores some tax reform ideas discussed at a recent Pew/Temple tax policy symposium. Many voices are calling for the city to shift the tax burden from business and wages to property (even if that means higher taxes) as a way to create jobs. That, Kerkstra writes, is a nonstarter given the debate surrounding the Actual Value Initiative.

Can Market East become an “unofficial hospitality zone” and become a more appealing place to be after dark? The Pennsylvania Convention and Visitors Bureau, Center City District, Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association, and Philly Rising are jointly working on that question, Flying Kite reports. Key to this puzzle is figure out how to change Market East “without privileging certain kinds of people and activities (tourists, high-end retail) over the neighborhood’s current residents and business owners.”

Have you seen any bald eagles swooping around town? Hidden City Daily shares the comeback tale of local eagles, tracing how nesting pairs of bald eagles have returned to Philadelphia after a 200-year absence. Pairs are known to live in Pennypack Park, Perry’s Island and the Heinz Wildlife Refuge.

Is there no end to the destruction of historic religious buildings in this city? St. John the Evangelist Church will be demolished Thursday, Pennsporter reports. Pennsporter chatted up the demolition crew’s foreman who said that as much as possible is being salvaged from the church – stairs, floors, stained glass windows, pipe organ, wrought iron fencing – but that the corner of 3rd/Moyamensing/Reed is about to look a whole lot lonelier. The church, dating from the 1860s, will be replaced by 12 condos.

Can South of South neighbors create another community-funded park from vacant land? Naked Philly reports on SOSNA’s push to create Carpenter Green, a park at 17th and Carpenter, on one of the neighborhood’s few large publicly owned vacant lots. The property is owned by the Redevelopment Authority and after SOSNA’s success raising more than $100,000 to fund Catharine Park, maybe they’ll convince PRA that they can keep the trend going.

The Buzz is Eyes on the Street’s morning news digest. Have a tip? Send it along.

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