PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia City Council had the closest vote of this session on Thursday, on a largely symbolic resolution opposing a state tax that’s under consideration.
The resolution generated an unusual amount of debate.
The tax was proposed to help close a $3 billion gap in the state budget. It would add 6% to tech services, such as programming.
Five local tech executives urged council to show opposition, with a yes vote on the strictly advisory resolution sponsored by two republicans. One was Lauren Schwartz.
“It makes it harder for business to invest. It makes it more difficult for the technology providers, the software development companies, the start-ups here,” Schwartz said.
But a bloc of democratic council members refused to oppose it, saying they didn’t want to interfere in the state budget process, despite the fact that the tax would disproportionately impact Philadelphia, as councilman Allan Domb noted.
“25% of all jobs in Philadelphia, the last 14 years: technology. And the message this sends is wrong to the 100,000 millennials that have moved here,” said Domb.
Sponsor Al Taubenberger says partisan politics motivated the debate, but he was pleased six democrats broke with their colleagues so the resolution could pass with the minimum nine votes.