Philadelphia City Councilmember Introduces Bill To Impose Wealth Tax on Stocks and Bonds [Alert]
April 5, 2022
April 5, 2022
On March 31, Philadelphia City Councilmember Kendra Brooks introduced an ordinance that would impose a tax on certain intangible property, including direct holdings in stocks and bonds, at 0.4 percent. The legislation is based on the County Personal Property Tax authorized by state statute, as modified by a 2002 Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision that found unconstitutional an exemption in the county tax for stock in companies that are liable or excluded from the former Capital Stock — Franchise Tax.
The proposed ordinance tracks other exclusions in the state statute that exempt pensions, retirement accounts, and traditional checking and savings accounts. The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center determined that an implemented tax could raise between $240 million and $280 million a year. Councilmember Brooks refers to this legislation as a “wealth tax” and believes wealthy Philadelphians would be most impacted by this proposal.
During a press conference to build support for the bill, Councilmember Brooks was joined by former presidential candidate Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and other advocates from the region. Senator Warren has been the leading advocate for a “wealth tax” on the federal level.
In 2020, Councilmember Brooks introduced a different iteration of this tax. It was referred to the Committee on Finance, but the 2020 bill was never heard in committee. Many counties throughout Pennsylvania, including Philadelphia, imposed the county tax on personal property until the 1990s. Philadelphia did not reimpose the tax after the Supreme Court decision.
City Council must finalize the budget for the upcoming fiscal year by June 30, 2022.
Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies, an affiliate of the international law firm Cozen O’Connor, is a bipartisan government relations practice representing clients before the federal government and in cities and states throughout the country. With offices in Washington D.C., Richmond, Albany, New York City, Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Chicago, and Santa Monica, the firm’s public strategies professionals offer a full complement of government affairs services, including legislative and executive branch advocacy, policy analysis, assistance with government procurement and funding programs, and crisis management. Its client base spans multiple industries, including healthcare, transportation, hospitality, education, construction, energy, real estate, entertainment, financial services, and insurance.
Established in 1970, Cozen O’Connor has over 775 attorneys who help clients manage risk and make better business decisions. The firm counsels clients on their most sophisticated legal matters in all areas of the law, including litigation, corporate, and regulatory law. Representing a broad array of leading global corporations and middle-market companies, Cozen O’Connor serves its clients’ needs through 31 offices across two continents.
September 21, 2023
September 19, 2023