On Wednesday, Mayor Jim Kenney called for continued business tax cuts, outlined his plans for when he leaves office in 2024, and gave advice to his future successor. At the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia’s annual luncheon, Kenney said he plans to include cuts to the business income and receipts tax in his upcoming budget proposal. He urged those running to be his successor to continue to commit to the tax cut.
Kenney’s remarks come as the city’s budget is in the best shape it has been in years. Over the last two decades, taxes have been incrementally lowered to address the business community’s criticism of the taxes as a hindrance to job growth. Progressives have argued that the city needs more revenue, not less, to address poverty and gun violence.
In the past, Kenney has favored lowering the business income and receipts tax, but he did not include a cut in his original budget proposal last year. However, Council pushed through a plan to lower the net income portion of the tax from 6.2% to 5.99%, which the administration supported.
Kenney also reflected on his time in office and addressed criticism that he has not been a cheerleader for the city or eager to do the work of being mayor. He said he has done his best every day and cares deeply about the city. He advised his future successor to be friends with the Council president.
Mayor Kenney’s budget proposal is expected to be unveiled in March. The primary for the mayor’s race and elections for all 17 Council seats is May 16. Council must approve a budget by the end of June.