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Council Pres. Presses For New Tax To Handle Problems Around Temple U.

(Philadelphia City Council president Darrell Clarke, in file photo from City of Phila. TV)

(Philadelphia City Council president Darrell Clarke, in file photo from City of Phila. TV)

Mike Dunn Mike Dunn
Mike Dunn is City Hall bureau chief for KYW Newsradio 1060. He covers...
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By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The long-running issue of Temple University off-campus student housing in North Philadelphia surfaced again this past week at a City Council hearing.

At issue: a proposal to create a “special services district” to handle problems caused by the students.

Philadelphia City Council president Darrell Clarke, whose district includes Temple University and the neighborhoods around the campus, is proposing what’s called a “neighborhood improvement district.”  He wants landlords who rent to students to pay an extra tax assessment to handle noise, trash, parking, and other matters related to student housing.

“That’s why this is being proposed — to deal with this mess going on up there,” Clarke told fellow councilmembers.  ” ‘Cause it’s a mess.”

But landlords who don’t rent to students would also be required pay the assessment, and many object to that.

One such landlord, Vivian Van Story of the Community Land Trust Corporation, lashed out at Clarke at the hearing:

“You stood by your people.  But now I can say that you are a drum major for the real estate developers.  A drum major for the powerful.”

Clarke adjourned the hearing — the second on the proposal — without a vote.  To be continued.

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