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In the News: Clarke against proposed real estate tax amendment bill

Philadelphia Inquirer: Commentary: Democracy and optimism transform Philadelphia

By Harold Brubaker | June 4, 2016

Philadelphia City Council President Darrell L. Clarke told a panel of state lawmakers Thursday that he opposed a bill that would amend the state constitution to allow Philadelphia to impose different tax rates on commercial and residential real estate.

Although he would like the General Assembly to be allowed to establish classes of property - currently forbidden by the state constitution's uniformity clause that requires all real estate to be treated the same - he said the current bill could tie the city's hands in harmful ways.

"It is inflexible. It is unfair to homeowners. And if it becomes law, I seriously doubt whether Philadelphia would ever implement the authority granted to it," Clarke told members of the House Finance Committee, who were joined by additional Philadelphia delegates to Harrisburg.

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