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You are viewing 19 articles with the tag Government by the author Patrick Kerkstra

    • Developer Waterfront Renaissance Associates has plans for a 1,458-unit, four-tower residential and retail complex

Fiscal reform in Philadelphia faces a taxing problem

Powered by Tableau Jobs behind the push to cut taxes The competitive advantages of lower wage and business taxes are well documented. A half century ago, when Philadelphia’s economy was still…

    • City's tax delinquency epidemic deepens

City's tax delinquency epidemic deepens

Philadelphia property tax delinquents piled up an additional $43.8 million in new debt over the last year, increasing the total amount owed to the city and financially desperate School District to…

    • Sheriff sales failing to round up promised bonanza of property tax deadbeats

Sheriff sales failing to round up promised bonanza of property tax deadbeats

Two years ago, the City of Philadelphia offered its legions of tax deadbeats a once-in-a-generation chance at amnesty: a 54-day window to settle their accounts without paying a dime in penalties…

    • Abandoned tax delinquent property on the 2300 block of Gerrit Street in Point Breeze (Clem Murray / Inquirer)

Should city bank on land bills that finally lay down the law?

For decades, Philadelphia’s city government has struggled to cope with an abundance of vacant land and chronic tax delinquency, two closely related problems that have fueled blight and depressed property values…

    • Philadelphia's imminent vacant land plan: major progress, or major letdown?

Philadelphia's imminent vacant land plan: major progress, or major letdown?

The City of Philadelphia has all but finished an overhaul of its land disposition policy, a long awaited move designed to put more of the city’s nearly 13,000 vacant properties -…

    • Partnerships produce exclusive tax delinquency and school closing news in 2011

Partnerships produce exclusive tax delinquency and school closing news in 2011

Tax DelinquencyIn August, PlanPhilly published the findings of a months-long investigation into the City of Philadelphia’s delinquent property tax collection system. The report, produced in partnership with the…

    • City Controller calls for action on vacant school buildings owned by the Philadelphia School District.

City Controller calls for action on vacant school buildings owned by the Philadelphia School District.

City Controller Alan Butkovitz today accused the School District of Philadelphia of letting eight shuttered district buildings deteriorate into dangerously unsafe condition, and called the empty facilities “catastrophes waiting to happen.”…

    • How Philadelphia is failing to proceed on taxes owed

How Philadelphia is failing to proceed on taxes owed

Sometime in the next three months, state lawmakers will begin formally considering a bill that would make Philadelphia finally deal with its 100,000-plus backlog of tax-delinquent properties. It will not be…

    • Abandoned tax delinquent property on the 2300 block of Gerrit Street in Point Breeze (Clem Murray / Inquirer)

Special report: How tax delinquent properties thwart development

For most of its recent history, the 1700 block of Manton Street in Point Breeze was notable only as a 420-foot-long case study in Philadelphia’s ills. Violence? Check. Abandonment? Check. Crack…

    • Flawed delinquency records abound

Flawed delinquency records abound

According to city records, a West Philadelphia company, Neighborhood Restorations, is one of the biggest property-tax deadbeats in town, owing $247,000 on nearly 300 tax-delinquent parcels. But the city records are…

    • Broken assessment system complicates sales of delinquent property

Broken assessment system complicates sales of delinquent property

Annual property-tax bills in Philadelphia are determined by a relatively simple calculation: the tax rate (9.08 percent in 2012, 8.26 percent in 2011) times the assessed value of the property equals…

    • Special report: The delinquency crisis

Special report: The delinquency crisis

Philadelphia runs the least-effective delinquent-property-tax collection system of the nation's biggest cities, a system that has created a “culture of nonpayment” and cost the city and cash-strapped School District $472 million…

    • City Council members perturbed by facilities closures that are detailed in leaked School District document

City Council members perturbed by facilities closures that are detailed in leaked School District document

The already dysfunctional relationship between City Hall and the School District of Philadelphia was further complicated this week when the Public School Notebook published a leaked draft version of the district's…

    • West Philadelphia High School, a five-story, brick and limestone structure built in 1911-1912 at a cost of $1.3 million.

Expect politics aplenty as School District of Philadelphia moves to close schools

It is not yet entirely clear how the School District of Philadelphia will handle the biggest downsizing in its history. As many as 50 facilities are slated to be sold off…

    • Thomas A. Edison High (Julia de Burgos Middle School until 2003) is under agreement of sale for $600,000.

School district unveils new plan for selling off properties

Over the next three years, the School District of Philadelphia plans to close as many as 50 school buildings. The targets - which schools, which neighborhoods - for now remain…

    • Norma Morales, administrative assistant in Councilman Darrel Clark's office.

Special Report: Salvation, optimism and perseverance in Eastern North Philadelphia

On June 3, 1993, Norma Morales and her three children woke up on a mattress on the floor of a drafty two-bedroom apartment in the Parkside section of West Philadelphia. They…

    • Jesus Sierra, courtesy of APM

How APM turned growing pains into gains

It is hard to imagine what Eastern North Philadelphia would look like today without Jesus Sierra, the city worker who in 1970 founded Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha and built it into…

    • Tire swings hang from trees at a small park on 5th street near York and Dauphin.

Special Report: How the city serves Eastern North Philadelphia

The handball court on the 2300 block of N. 5th Street is not much to look at. Weeds grow out of cracks in the pavement. The tiny playground beside the court…

    • Customers smile while waiting in line at the deli at Cousin's supermarket

Special Report: A new face on race relations

In the 1970s the city of Philadelphia was less a melting pot than a cauldron: a combustible mix of ethnic and racial tension, economic collapse and an aggressive police force that…

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