Wilson Goode Jr.
In addition to candidates for mayor, Philadelphia voters today are also choosing their party’s nominees for all 17 seats on City Council.
Councilman Wilson Goode calls them “mega-nonprofits” — the city’s universities and health care institutions, which are now exempt from property taxes.
One former employee of an airport contractor, a wheelchair attendant, tearfully recounted being fired because of her activity in support of a fair wage.
The airport workers were unhappy because the mayor’s executive order raising their wages does not apply to contracts currently in force, and that means the raises won’t come until the contracts are amended or renewed.
City councilman Wilson Goode Jr. is accusing the Nutter administration of ignoring the needs of the school district by opposing his plan to scale back the city’s ten-year property tax abatement.
Nutter has long opposed raising the minimum wage required to be paid by firms with local government contracts, but he said he gradually changed his mind.
Councilman Wilson Goode said the Nutter administration has been abusing its ability to grant waivers to the law that requires city contractors pay workers at least 1½ times the federal minimum wage.
Developer Brooke Lenfest (center of photo) wants to build two hotels — a “W” and an “Element” — on what is now a parking lot at 15th and Chestnut Streets.
“This is generally a tax break for the few, the new, and the well-to-do, not for most of Philadelphia,” Councilman Goode said of the tax-abatement program he would like to curtail.
Rob Dubow, the mayor’s finance director, argued against raising the city’s “U&O” business tax and in favor of boosting taxes on liquor and cigarettes.
Before the City Council finance committee today was a proposal from Councilman Bill Green to require that half the man-hours on many contracts be performed by Philadelphia residents.
The clock is now ticking for Philadelphia City Council to begin grappling with what could be the biggest challenge in the budget season, the proposed “actual-value” system for property taxes.
Philadelphia at-large city councilman Frank Rizzo Jr., was apparently having trouble in his re-election bid shaking the charge that he ran for another term despite having entered the city’s controversial “DROP” pension program.