Philly City Council considers job-creation tax credit
January 21, 2013By Holly Otterbein
Members of Philadelphia City Council are back in session this week, and one of the first proposals they'll examine is a tax credit for businesses that create jobs.
Councilman W. Wilson Goode Jr. wants Philadelphia's double-digit unemployment rate to take a nosedive. He is looking to give a $5,000 tax credit to companies for each new job they create. His bill would make a temporary tax break now on the books permanent.
"It comes on, actually, the request and suggestion of the Commerce Department, which feels that the $5,000 tax credit has been very useful," said Goode. "It's a credible amount to help lure people to Philadelphia."
But in the past, there haven't been many takers when the tax credit was smaller. From 2003 to 2009, fewer than 12 businesses signed up for the $1,000 tax credit each year.
Kevin Gillen, a University of Pennsylvania economist, said that's because Philadelphia's business tax burden is too high, so even a break won't always entice companies to come here.
"I'd like to see the city lower its wage and business taxes," he said. "We tax people and businesses too much in this city."
Goode said more businesses would use the tax break if they knew about it. He is pushing the city to market it more.
There will be a hearing on Goode's bill Thursday.