PHILADELPHIA, PA: Yesterday, a Senior Common Pleas Court Judge held that Philadelphia’s reassessment of commercial properties violated both the state and federal constitution, and ordered the city to refund almost $50 million — including tens of millions that had been allocated for school funding — to commercial landlords. In his decision, the judge wrote “The desire and demand of City Council for revenue from a targeted reassessment of commercial properties was a substantial motivating factor” in ordering the improper reassessments.
This decision once again lays bare how important an inclusive, pro-growth agenda is for the city’s future. If Philadelphia is going to grow and thrive, it is critical that it make investments in its people and their future. To do so, Philadelphia should focus on building a larger tax base, not just attempt to get more taxes from the same taxpayers.
The need for inclusive, neighborhood growth is why this spring, the Chamber of Commerce, with its partners including the African-American Chamber of Commerce of PA, NJ, & DE, the Asian American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia, the Greater Northeast Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and dozens of civic and business leaders from across the city, issued an Inclusive Growth Policy Agenda as part of the Philadelphia Neighborhood Growth Project (PHL-NGP). The PHL-NGP’s Inclusive Growth Policy Agenda is a multi-faceted proposal that focuses on how best to tackle some of Philadelphia’s challenges, including the poverty that limits too many individuals and communities, through inclusive growth.
This fall, the Chamber and its partners will be working with Philadelphia City Council as it holds a series of hearings regarding how best to stimulate inclusive growth in neighborhoods across the city. This week’s decision will add urgency to those discussions.