Nobody likes to pay taxes. Worse, nobody wants their tax dollars to be spent wastefully, let alone fraudulently. And the fact that Philadelphia’s wage tax is the highest of any city in the U.S., makes waste and fraud here all the more galling. Shining a spotlight on how government spends your tax dollars is at the heart of Seventy’s watchdog mission. We watch what’s going on in City Hall vigilantly year-round, but particularly during budget season in the spring, when the Mayor proposes a spending plan for the next fiscal year and City Council holds hearings on it, amends it and adopts it.

Important Resources:

  • Within the executive branch of city government, the Office of the Director of Finance is the chief agency responsible for Philadelphia's finances, accounting and budgeting. For a quick overview, explore the city's budget with this Open Budget tool.
  • Philadelphia City Council's Budget Center includes proposed operating and capital budgets for the city, hearing schedules, and specific budget information and testimony by department.
  • The Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority (PICA) was established in 1991 to help the city recover from a severe financial crisis. The PICA Board and its staff continue to provide oversight by reviewing and approving annually the city's five-year financial plan.
Committee of Seventy CEO David Thornburgh testified before the Philadelphia City Council Committee on Legislative Oversight on February 21 to discuss the benefits of lowering the wage tax and the Job Growth Coalition's game-changing proposal that will be reintroduced to the Legislature soon.  Read More...
What could put Philadelphia on a new path of growth? For the region, the Economy League’s World Class agenda has identified key priority strategies to boost growth over the long haul — supporting entrepreneurship, stoking our innovation economy, and selling our goods and services to the world. For Philadelphia, these strategies are also critical. But the city has one policy option supported by stacks and stacks of research that could put its economy on a different trajectory — lowering the wage tax. Read More...
Committee of Seventy CEO David Thorburgh testified to the Pennsylvania House Finance Committee on June 2 in support of a constitutional amendment that would allow Philadelphia to decrease its reliance on wage and business taxes. Read More...