Philly tax collections robust in January

Philadelphia's City Hall Tower (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Philadelphia's City Hall Tower (Emma Lee/WHYY)

There is some good budget news for the city of Philadelphia.

For the most part, the city’s January tax collections exceeded expectations, said Harvey Rice, executive director of the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority or PICA.

“The sales tax has been strong, the real estate tax has been strong, the real estate-transfer tax has been strong, and the wage and earnings tax has been strong — which is almost 50 percent of the city’s revenue collections,” Rice said.

The parking tax is coming up short, however, along with the sweetened-beverage tax, he said.

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Predictions for the “soda tax” should become more reliable with time.

“People have to remember there were no models to base their projections on,” he said. “We were the first major city to impose a sweetened-beverage tax, the only other city before that was Berkeley, which is noncomparable.”

The forecast for Philadelphia, said Rice, is continued growth through the end of the fiscal year in June.

Mayor Jim Kenney is expected to introduce his budget to City Council next month, which will be followed by a series of hearings with the operating departments.

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