PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – With Philadelphia’s jobless rate in double digits, a City Council committee has okayed significant changes to the city’s business tax structure — and Mayor Nutter is on board as well.

City Council’s Finance Committee approved and sent to the full Council two pieces of business tax reform.  The first, sponsored by councilmembers Bill Green and Maria Quinones Sanchez, would give businesses an exemption on the first $100,000 of receipts.   That would cover both the gross receipts and net income portions of the tax.

And manufacturers based in the city would only pay taxes on goods that they sell within the city.

Pete Windle, president of Windle Mechanical Solutions in Northeast Philadelphia, was among the business owners who told the committee that they’re currently hurt by being based within the city limits.

“The current business tax structure puts us at a competitive disadvantage to our competitors outside the city who do not have to pay that high rate of tax,” he said.

The other bill, sponsored by Councilman Jim Kenney, gives a two-year tax rebate to all new businesses located in the city.

(Joe Mahoney. Source: Greater Phila. Chamber of Commerce)

Joe Mahoney (right), executive vice president of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, says both bills send a message to firms that might want to move here.

“For companies looking to locate here, they see the direction going the right way,” Mahoney told KYW Newsradio today.

Mayor Nutter has agreed to support both bills after they were tweaked, including a phased-in implementation of the first measure.

Reported by KYW City Hall bureau chief Mike Dunn