October 26: Germantown #1 | Trickle-down tax abatement? | Bev Tax revenue

Does Philly’s 10-year tax abatement encourage developers to “demolish rather than renovate” and simply subsidize construction for the extremely wealthy? Inga Saffron argues yes, based on the program’s blanket structure that “skews the economics of construction.” Saffron cites the Building Industry Association’s report authored by Kevin Gillen, which shows updated statistics on the size, location, and distribution of the tax-abated properties. While the program’s success helped spur a construction boom in the city’s core neighborhoods, Saffron suggests models from other cities that link abatements with targeted policy goals, special districts, and caps on the abatement amount.

Meanwhile, a proposed constitutional amendment to Pennsylvania’s tax abatement program could radically “reduce the property tax burden on vulnerable homeowners,” or…change nothing. WHYY News’ Avi Wolfman-Arent breaks down the proposal that is so unclear “even political insiders and policy wonks don’t yet know what to make of it.”

The City earned $7.4 million in beverage tax revenue in September, the closest ever to the projected $7.7 million monthly revenue goal, the Philadelphia Business Journal’s Alison Burdo reports.

Germantown’s application is currently number one in the national competition for Main Street preservation grants. Germantown CDC stands to win $150,000 of the $2 million pot through National Geographic, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and American Express. People can vote 5 times a day through October 31st. Germantown’s proposal focuses on the facades of two significant 20th-century African-American historic sites.

Now, some workforce development news: Steppingstone Scholars’ Sean Vereen writes about at the STEM industry’s opportunity to build the college pipeline and help “historically disadvantaged and underserved students” become equally prepared to take advantage of the region’s STEM-related jobs.

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