Philadelphia City Council to reintroduce bill Mayor Kenney pocket vetoed

Pat Loeb
January 21, 2020 - 3:54 pm
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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Philadelphia City Councilmembers say they plan to reintroduce a bill that died last year when the mayor refused to sign it. The bill would provide a wage tax break to low-income workers.

Allan Domb was joined by three other Councilmembers as he announced he'll reintroduce the measure at Council's first meeting of the new term this week for the same reasons he sponsored it last term.

"We should not be filling the city's coffers on the backs of people earning lower income wages. We should be putting their money back into their pockets to help them thrive," he said.

The bill would expand the current tax refund for low wage workers from half a percent to over two percent. 

"This will give immediate assistance for people to pay their bills, buy groceries and help with the day-to-day financial burden they face," Domb said.

The mayor declined to sign it, which effectively vetoed it because it was the end of the term. 

He said the program is difficult to administer and very few taxpayers take advantage of it. 

Domb knows that. He's spent years trying to get more Philadelphians to take advantage of a similar federal program with few results. 

He says, in fact, there are 19 programs with low participation by Philadelphians who are eligible.

"There's also Medicaid and there are other state programs so we're hoping to figure out a way to make those programs more accessible, which would include this wage tax refund," Domb said.

The administration did not have an immediate comment, but it's not clear the mayor would actually veto the bill. It seems more likely he would simply refuse to sign it again, but this time, it would become law since it's at the beginning of the term instead of the very end.