Two state Representatives from Philadelphia, Rosita Youngblood and Mike O'Brien, want the wage tax relief that comes to Philadelphia from state taxes on Pennsylvania casino profits to be diverted for five years to the Philadelphia School District to close a budget deficit there.
Youngblood and O'Brien, who on Tuesday said they would introduce legislation to divert the money, said "the temporary cash infusion of about $88 million would give the district time to consider, implement and benefit from changes being suggested by the city's School Reform Commission."
They also blamed Gov. Corbett and Republicans in the General Assembly for the financial turmoil, accusing them of "turning their backs" on the Philadelphia School District through budget cuts. They also knock Mayor Nutter's "Chicken Little response" of trying to raise money for the school district through the process of reassessing the value of properties in the city.
Philadelphia's Wage Tax is 3.93 percent for city residents and 3.5 percent for non-residents. Those rates were 4.169 percent and 3.685 percent in 2008. Gaming taxes were used to reduce property taxes across the state but targeted at the wage tax in Philadelphia.
The state Gaming Control Board projects that casino taxes will result in $86.3 million in wage tax relief in Philadelphia from July 1 to June 30, 2013.
Youngblood and O'Brien took pains Tuesday to say their proposal is not a tax increase. They called it a "temporary diversion of funds."