Broad Street Brief: Council Approves Bonds to Finance Neighborhood Preservation Initiative; Majority Leader Parker Proposes Parking Tax Reduction 

May 20, 2021

CITY HALL

Council Approves Bonds to Finance Neighborhood Preservation Initiative

On Thursday, City Council passed legislation that authorized $400 million in bonds to finance the Neighborhood Preservation Initiative (NPI). The NPI is intended to support more affordable housing, restore commercial corridors, and assist homeowners. In December, City Council passed bills that would institute a 1 percent development impact tax and a 10 percent reduction in the commercial real estate tax abatement beginning in 2022 to pay the interest on the bonds that will fund the NPI.

Majority Leader Parker Proposes Parking Tax Reduction

On Thursday, Councilmember Parker introduced legislation that would decrease the parking tax to 17 percent. Currently, the parking tax is 25 percent, and the mayor’s budget for the upcoming fiscal year proposes a reduction to 22.5 percent. The current parking tax is among the highest in the nation, and Councilmember Parker hopes that a deeper reduction will help revitalize the hospitality and tourism industries.

Bill Introduced Requiring Businesses to Share Information on Career Advancement

Councilmember Gilmore Richardson introduced a bill that would require businesses to share information on workforce development and career pathways to its departing employees. She hopes this requirement will connect more Philadelphians to new job opportunities and additional skills training.

Upcoming Hearing: Mobile Crisis Units

Tomorrow at 2:00 p.m., the Committee on Public Health and Human Services will hold a hearing to discuss the city’s proposed pilot program for mobile crisis units and a co-responder program. Many criminal justice advocates and public safety reformers have advocated for law enforcement and clinicians to respond to residents experiencing behavioral health crises together. You can listen to the hearing here.

New Acting Health Commissioner Appointed by Mayor Kenney

Last week, Dr. Farley resigned as Philadelphia’s health commissioner. He led the city’s response to the pandemic but resigned after it was disclosed that he authorized improper disposal of remains of victims of the MOVE bombing in 1985. However, the city later confirmed that a subordinate to Dr. Farley did not dispose of the remains. Mayor Kenney appointed Dr. Cheryl Bettigole as acting health commissioner, and an external investigation will look further into this incident. 


Authors

Beth A. Brennan

Principal, Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies

bbrennan@cozen.com

(717) 773-4213

Joseph Hill

Senior Principal, Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies

jhill@cozen.com

(215) 665-2065

Brianna A. Westbrooks

Policy Adviser, Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies

bwestbrooks@cozen.com

(215) 665-4757

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