As summer deadline looms, Philadelphia City Council hears litany of bills

Topics include: tax abatement, smoking prevention, affordable housing.

Pat Loeb
June 06, 2018 - 11:48 am

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — In an end of the year rush, Philadelphia City Council's finance committee is holding hearings on a number of important bills Wednesday in hopes of getting them passed before the summer recess. 

The committee is considering a bill eliminating the school district portion of the 10-year real estate tax abatement, a hotly contested issue since dual studies showed that eliminating even part of it, without a phase out, could discourage new development. Sponsor Helen Gym believes the impact would be less harmful than continuing to forfeit taxes through the abatement.

Another bill would rescind health rules aimed at preventing smoking among low-income teenagers — another controversial proposal. 

Also on the agenda is a package of bills designed to encourage affordable housing through an impact tax on new development; a bill requiring the city to reconcile its books, after it lost track of $33 million; and two tax-reform bills that the administration opposes.

The committee has already agreed to hold one of them that would have let people postpone paying their real estate taxes if they appealed their property assessment.