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A sweet deal for the ultrarich | Morning Newsletter

And the real life “Mare.”

    The Morning Newsletter

    Start your day with the Philly news you need and the stories you want all in one easy-to-read newsletter

Hello, diligent readers of The Inquirer Morning Newsletter.

First: An agricultural program allows some wealthy Delco property owners to qualify for tax breaks.

Then: Prices for consumer goods are spiking up in the United States, but how are things locally?

And: Get to know the real Mare of Easttown, who holds court in her own way.

— Olayemi Falodun (

Some affluent homeowners in Delaware County enjoy the perks of residing on land that allows them to save hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Owners of dozens of properties sitting on land that was formerly the Ardrossan estate receive tax reduction breaks under the Act 319 “Clean and Green” program, if they own more than 10 acres.

The provision kicks in when the homeowners classify their properties as farmland, a move that reduces realty taxes to an estimated total of $490,000 this year, which is a 30% reduction from the $1.6 million without the discount.

But it doesn’t require the homeowner to actually be a farmer, and critics argue that the tax break places an unfair heavy burden on the taxpaying community members, some of whom are farmers.

Reporter Jacob Adelman dug into the history of how rich families carved up a famed Main Line estate — and qualified for big tax breaks.

Your money might feel lighter than usual when you check out at your grocery store or gas station, as inflation hits the nation.

The swift reopening of the economy has led to a price surge, according to experts, but how are things locally?

AAA reports that gas prices as of Wednesday in five local counties have jumped to $3.21 a gallon, five cents more than a month ago, and 79 cents more than last year.

One economist says the inflation should be temporary, a possible bright spot for consumers struggling financially amid fallout from a pandemic and lockdown.

Christian Hetrick and Catherine Dunn talk to experts in the area about how this impacts you.

Reopening resources

  1. Track the latest data on COVID-19 cases in the region.

  2. Instead of asking someone’s vaccination status, do this.

  3. Here’s what experts feel safe doing — and what they don’t.

  4. How to navigate fear about getting the coronavirus, even if you’re vaccinated.

  5. Even thriving is different at this stage in the pandemic. Here’s how people are doing it.

What you need to know today

  1. Meet Mary “Mare” Sheehan, a Delco native and St. Joseph’s University Women’s Basketball hooper, who shares similarities with her namesake on HBO’s “Mare of Easttown.”

  2. A look at the Philly Zoo’s push to vaccinate at-risk animals.

  3. Officials lay out plans for schools to reopen this fall with air purifiers in every classroom and plans for a mask requirement for in-person learning.

  4. Pennsylvania’s state university system shares its plan to spend $75 million in stimulus funds and savings.

  5. Here’s what Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s neutrality on the 2022 Senate primary means for his party’s candidates.

  6. Expecting a school year without lockdown, Penn State votes to raise in-state tuition 2.5%, after a three-year freeze.

  7. Tag along and see what residents are doing to dispel misinformation about vaccinations.

Through your eyes | #OurPhilly

There’s no telling what doors will open for you today. Thank you for sharing.

Tag your Instagram posts with #OurPhilly, and we’ll pick our favorite each day to feature here and give you a shout-out.

That's interesting

Carli Lloyd reflects on her journey to stardom, as she hunts down another Olympic gold medal.

🍕 We’ve got you covered on the rankings of the best slices of pizza along the Atlantic City Boardwalk.

🏀 Columnist David Murphy breaks down how he believes the Sixers should approach trading Ben Simmons if they decide to deal the three-time All-Star.

🏖️ Before you head out this weekend, get familiar with all the free things you can do at the Jersey Shore.

🎮 Inside lawmakers’ push to make betting on esports legal.


“The lack of any more specific comment by DEP, or comment by Gov. Tom Wolf, to the potential contamination of Pennsylvania water with toxic ‘forever chemicals’ should be shocking. But it’s not,” writes The Inquirer Editorial Board, which operates independently from the newsroom, about EPA-approved toxic chemicals in fracking.

  1. A state law needs to be reexamined for those opposing the banning critical race theory, columnist Abraham Gutman argues.

  2. Priya E. Mammen, an emergency physician and public health consultant, implores academic nonprofit hospitals to spend more to help resolve the inequities in health.

What we're reading

  1. Basketball legend Michael Jordan caught a big fish off the Jersey Shore, Patch reports.

  2. A South Philly grandmother provides a “safe zone” for children to play on the block, WHYY reports.

  3. A former Eagles quarterback shows support after backlash fans received for criticism of Ben Simmons, NBC Sports Philadelphia reports.

  4. If you have to stand all day for work, here are some helpful tips to keep you in shape.

Your daily dose of | Yoga youths

Project Little Warriors provides young people from different backgrounds an opportunity to practice yoga and mindfulness meditation, in order to push them toward success in school and in life. James Gaddy and Marialana Curry help campers prepare to cope with life changes and trauma. The South Jersey program that offers physical activities for youngsters, such as hiking, also features mindfulness-related professional development workshops for teachers.