Clock winds down on Mayor Kenney’s decision on controversial new tax

“Simply taxing people without a plan is senseless."

Pat Loeb
September 09, 2018 - 11:50 pm

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PHILADELPHIA (KW Newsradio) -- Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney has avoided taking action on a construction impact tax, all summer, but his time is up.

Kenney must decide, by Thursday, whether to veto the bill or let it become law. 

Mayor Kenney opposes the one percent tax on new construction and renovation, but he supports the underlying effort to create funding for affordable housing.

“There's other things that we can do to accomplish the goal that everyone wants to accomplish, and that's provide additional affordable housing for people,” he said.

So he's been negotiating with the bill's supporters in council, in hopes that he can avoid an outright veto.

That would require that the bill be recalled and modified, or replaced with a new plan.

Neither of the bill's main champions, City Council president Darrell Clarke or councilwoman Maria Quinones Sanchez, responded to interview requests.

Councilman Bobby Henon, an opponent to the bill, says a recall is the best course of action, especially since the bill passed before there was an actual affordable housing plan.

“Simply taxing people without a plan is senseless,” he said.

The bill passed, by just one vote, at the last session before the summer recess.