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A Scorned Philadelphia Tax Headed For A Name Change

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(File photo by Tony Hanson)

(File photo by Tony Hanson)

Mike Dunn Mike Dunn
Mike Dunn is City Hall bureau chief for KYW Newsradio 1060. He covers...
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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- One of the most reviled of Philadelphia’s many taxes is getting a new name, to make it slightly less irritating.

City Council’s finance committee has approved a name change for the tax business owners love to hate — Philadelphia’s “Business Privilege Tax.”

“As a former business owner for many decades in the city, I always bridled at the name Business Privilege Tax,” acknowledges city commerce director Alan Greenberger.

The tax would instead be known as the “Business Income and Receipts Tax.”

“This changes the name to something more reasonable, more pragmatic.  (It) doesn’t suggest to people that doing business here is a privilege,” says Greenberger, who admits it’s a symbolic move but an important message to the business community.

This comes a month after City Council and the mayor agreed to substantial changes in the tax itself, including an exemption on the first $100,000 of receipts.  The soon-to-be-former name “Business Privilege Tax” was adopted by the city in 1984.

The name change is expected to be approved by the full Council next month.
Reported by KYW City Hall bureau chief Mike Dunn

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