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Nutter: No Privilege In Paying Biz Tax

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - What's in a name? A lot apparently, when you're talking about one of the most-hated taxes in Philadelphia: the ironically-named "Business Privilege Tax." Mayor Nutter now says a better name is in order.

The name "Business Privilege Tax" was adopted by the city in 1984, reflecting the perception that it was indeed worth paying extra for the privilege of locating a business in Philadelphia. But attaching the word 'privilege' to a tax has always gotten under of the skin of business owners and some elected officials, including Mayor Nutter:
"I think for us as a city government the only privilege is that we're privileged to have so many businesses here in Philadelphia. But it is not necessarily a privilege to pay taxes."

So Nutter is now asking City Council for approval to change the name of the tax to the "Business Income and Receipts Tax."

"It just takes away the notion that somehow paying taxes is a privilege. We are honored that people want to be here and this is one small change but an important one psychologically."

Nutter's name change proposal came just days after Council and the mayor agreed to substantial changes in the tax itself, including an exemption on the first one hundred thousand dollars of receipts.

Nutter also proposes changing the name of the "Redevelopment Authority of the City of Philadelphia" to simply the "Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority."

Reported By Mike Dunn, KYW Newsradio

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