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No Hope For Reduced Wage, Rebate Repealed

By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – City Council has repealed legislation passed years ago that would have provided low-income Philadelphians a city wage-tax rebate years from now. This means the legislation will not be put into effect.

In 2004 the late councilman David Cohen got his colleagues to pass what many consider to be his signature piece of legislation, a wage-tax rebate for workers classified as working poor by the Commonwealth.

After his death in 2005, there were several attempts to postpone it, and, as restructured, the wage-tax credit was supposed to take effect in 2016.

Now, council has voted 10-6 to repeal it. Councilman Bill Greenlee, who served on Cohen’s staff for 26-years, voted to repeal.

“While I understand the other argument, I think it’s better to go after across the board wage tax cuts, than target it,” explained councilman Greenlee.

“Wwhat does it say about the legacy of your mentor?” asked reporter Steve Tawa.

Greenlee replied, “I don’t see it as that. Councilman Cohen did a lot of tremendous things, the vast majority of which I agree with. And, at the time, I understand why he pushed this.”

When he was a councilman, Michael Nutter supported Cohen’s bill. As Mayor, he pushed for repeal.

“We can’t afford that level of tax relief at this time, and in the near future,” said Mayor Nutter.

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