|Posted:||December 8, 2014 11:56 AM|
|From:||Senator Lawrence M. Farnese, Jr.|
|To:||All Senate members|
|Subject:||Delinquent Tax Collection for the School District of Philadelphia|
|In the near future, I plan to reintroduce legislation that would require liquor licensees in the City of Philadelphia to have made all payments of the city’s liquor by the drink tax, including any interest and penalties, in order to be approved for a license renewal or transfer (Senate Bill 1463 of 2014).
Currently, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board verifies that a licensee is cleared for tax purposes by the Departments of Revenue and Labor and Industry for license renewals or transfers. Between 1995 and 2012, over $34 million in taxes, penalties and interest have been foregone by the Philadelphia School District in liquor by the drink tax, one of their several non-property tax funding sources levied by the City. By requiring a tax clearance for the 10% liquor by the drink tax, licensees would be statutorily compelled to get their tax delinquencies taken care of in order to remain in business while infusing much-needed tax revenues into the school district.
As we continue to find creative revenue sources to solve the funding crisis in the Philadelphia School District, we have seen several tax increase authorization proposals, including an increase to the liquor by the drink tax in the city. An attempt to pass such an authorization was resisted last budget cycle. However, the City has stepped up its tax enforcement and is making progress in several areas of school tax delinquency payments. My legislation would not authorize any new taxes nor would it raise the liquor by the drink tax. Rather, it would ensure that delinquent liquor by the drink taxes are more easily recouped by the city and passed onto the school district for the coming school year.
I hope you will join me in sponsoring this common-sense tool which will help fund our City's schools.
Introduced as SB531