City Council committee approves tax breaks for low-income workers over Kenney's objections

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A Philadelphia City Council committee Tuesday advanced a bill just like one that Mayor Jim Kenney vetoed at the end of last term. The administration still opposes the bill.

The bill would expand the credit currently available to low-income workers to reduce what they pay in wage taxes. Chief sponsor Allan Domb says it's a needed corrective for a city that taxes its working poor at a higher rate than any other big city.

"We should not be applying this burden on those struggling to get by every day," he said. 

But Finance Director Rob Dubow says the credit is so complicated, less than two percent of those eligible take advantage and there are better ways to help low-income workers. 

He asked the committee to hold the bill until they get the mayor's budget on March 5.

"We look forward to working with Council during the budget process on an approach to raise incomes focused on impoverished Philadelphians that's accessible and maximizes the impact of the funds we can devote to this obvious need," Dubow said.

Committee members complained Dubow was too vague about what that approach might be and voted to send the bill to the full Council, which could vote as early as next week, inviting another veto.