FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 15, 2021
PHILADELPHIA, PA —
5th Square commends the decision to withdraw budget bill 210442, which would have reduced the parking tax from a proposed 22.5% to 17%. By rejecting the tax cut that directly benefits parking garage executives, Council has reaffirmed commitments to encourage transit ridership, address climate change, support a new green and clean economy, tackle poor air quality, and achieve Vision Zero.
5th Square organizer Dan Trubman says, “We have been consistently advocating against cuts to the parking tax since its introduction. We have organized hundreds of emails, phone calls to council, and a rally against these misguided tax cuts in front of Parkway HQ. These cuts would have given away money to an industry that pollutes, congests and endangers our city; that exploits its workforce; that caters toward suburban car commuters -- when we should be focused on the struggles of everyday Philadelphians.
“We thank Councilmembers Gym, Gauthier, and Brooks who have steadfastly opposed the tax break and preserved tens of millions in precious tax revenue to fund vital city services.
“It’s easy enough to claim to support progressive goals, but this afternoon Council backed up their rhetoric with action. There is NO policy argument for reducing the parking tax — a use that is primarily paid for by suburban commuters, not city residents.
“Parking executives with billions in real estate assets do not need a tax break to do the right thing. The only thing this saga has revealed is that they should immediately begin paying their employees a living wage with benefits. Giving a blank check in the pockets of executives in exchange for an unenforceable pinky promise was never the solution.
“Now that Council has shelved the parking tax cut, our elected officials should work together with labor advocates to hammer out a long-term solution to ensure all workers in the city are guaranteed a livable wage and a safe workplace.
5th Square is Philadelphia’s urbanist advocacy group, fighting for better transportation and land use policies in the Philadelphia region.