In a move only liberals could think up, the city of Philadelphia is preparing to lower tax penalties for tax delinquents, hoping they will finally ante up. The city is short hundreds of millions in back taxes, but certain experts say that the tax penalties make it less likely that deadbeats will rectify their breaches. Matt Melinson of the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants said, “The interest and penalty is, in short, far higher than the norm around the United States of America, far higher than the federal norm, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, possibly everywhere.”
In Philadelphia, the interest rates are a stunning 12%; Melinson wants those rates cut to 5%. The penalty rate is 45%; Melinson wants it cut to 15%. The Philadelphia City Council is set to vote on the measure later this month. Bob Hornick of the PICPA agreed with Melinson: “Perhaps that was looked at as the big stick that was needed to get taxpayers to the table and get them to pay, but today it’s way out of line.”
Perhaps taxes are simply too high, and people aren’t paying them. Lowering the penalties isn’t going to impact that simple fact. But liberals are still searching for that holy grail whereby taxpayers shell out tons of cash, and then pay on time with less incentive to do so.