PICA reports tax revenue increases

    The latest Philadelphia tax revenue totals show some promising signs of economic recovery.

    The latest Philadelphia tax revenue totals show some promising signs of economic recovery. This morning PICA, the state agency that oversees Philadelphia’s finances, released the totals for the last six months. Even though revenue is down overall, there are some signs of life for regional commerce.

    Listen:
    [audio: 100112SBTAX.mp3]

    By far the biggest tax revenue drop during 2009 was the real estate transfer tax. The slumped economy meant people were largely unable to buy or sell houses. But during the last quarter, the tax revenue actually increased. It’s up more than 19% over the preceding quarter.

    Philadelphia Budget Director Steve Agostini says the turnaround is a relief for the region.

    Agostini: The transfer tax number is probably the most encouraging of the numbers in the report, and that is a tax that’s shown the most promising trend, and I think it reflects what’s happening with housing activity.

    Wage tax revenues also showed promising signs. While revenue is still down more than 1% for three months of the year, it’s performing better than it did during the summer when it fell nearly 5%.

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