For voters still undecided about City Council candidates, here's a reason to consider Milton Street: a sizable chunk of his $103,000 salary as a city councilman could go back to the city treasury.
That's because Milton, the mayor's older brother, owes $392,573 in delinquent business taxes, according to a recent accounting by the city Revenue Department.
City solicitor Romulo Diaz said the city Law Department is taking over the case and plans to file suit against Street in Common Pleas Court.
The tax bill is based on Street's federal indictment last November, which accused him of failing to report $2 million in taxable income from 2000 to 2004, when he and his company, Notlim Services Management, landed roles in the maintenance contracts at the city-owned Philadelphia International Airport.
Diaz said that city revenue officials prepared a delinquent tax bill for Street in January and sent it to an address in Moorestown, N.J. - the address that Street had used in a federal bankruptcy filing in late 2005.
Street, a former street vendor who served six years in the state Legislature from 1979 through 1984, told the Daily News last week that he never got the bill, which he described as "totally ridiculous."
"It's totally absurd, because, number one, I've never earned that much money," Street said. "I'm not getting into the airport stuff because it's the subject of a federal investigation. But if the city is trying to protect its own ass based on figures they can't substantiate, that's up to them."
Street entered a plea of "not guilty" to the federal charges in November. He had been scheduled for trial on May 14 - the day before the city's primary election - but it has been postponed until Oct. 15.
U.S. Attorney Patrick L. Meehan, in announcing Street's indictment on corruption and tax charges, said the mayor's brother had made "millions on nothing more than his last name."
Street allegedly started as a consultant after his brother was elected mayor in 1999. He was paid to help a joint venture named Philadelphia Airport Services (PAS) land a four-year, $50 million contract to maintain airport facilities.
Later, Milton created the Notlim (Milton spelled backwards) firm to maintain the airport's baggage conveyor system, as a PAS subcontractor.
The feds alleged that Notlim was paid $166,000 a month from PAS but returned $133,000 to PAS as PAS employees did the necessary work.
The feds also accused Street and a confederate of participating in a scheme to defraud a company called V-Tech of more than $80,000, telling the company's owner they would deliver airport contracts.
"I don't want to get into the federal charges because I am going to deal with that after the election," Street told the Daily News last week. "But I will tell you, what goes into the wash will come out in the rinse. That's when the facts will come out."
Diaz said city revenue officials had moved with due speed once they read newspaper articles detailing Milton Street's income with figures from the federal indictment.
But the Revenue Department apparently missed a Daily News story nearly two years earlier, in January 2005. It reported that Milton Street himself had filed court papers saying he received $30,000 a month in consulting fees from PAS, going back to 2001. Street's filing was in response to a civil suit filed by V-Tech.
"It's my understanding that there were some non-filer notices sent to Mr. Street for his companies, and those had been turned over to a Law Department collection agency," Diaz said. "But I'm not aware of any specific assessment having been done except for the one initiated last year after the indictment."
Diaz said the mayor's office was informed of the recent developments, "as a courtesy."
"We just want this to follow its ordinary course, just as we would with any taxpayer," said the mayor's spokesman, Joe Grace. *