City Councilwoman Jannie L. Blackwell has been stewing ever since the Civil Service Commission and the Street administration instituted a $35 fee to apply for a city job.
"There's something dishonest about it," Blackwell said yesterday. To make money off the backs of applicants - many of whom are unemployed and/or never get the city jobs they sought - is "not fair, and it doesn't send a positive message to the citizens of Philadelphia," Blackwell said.
She offered a bill in Council yesterday to do away with what she calls the "application tax."
Applicants on public assistance generally qualify for a waiver, but otherwise, "people come to me and I end up paying it," Blackwell said. "I can't pay everybody's fee."
The bill requires an amendment to the Home Rule Charter. Blackwell hopes to ask voters for approval in a November referendum.
The Personnel Department said the fee brought in $428,710 in 2007 and $532,665 thus far in fiscal year 2008, which ends June 30.
In other business, Council gave final approval to Councilman James F. Kenney's bill requiring tow-truck operators to accept credit and debit cards.
And the following new measures were presented:
Majority Leader Marian B. Tasco called for hearings on establishing a tax credit for filmmakers. The hearings would determine how such tax credits would work. Last year Pennsylvania lawmakers established a 25 percent tax credit for production expenses up to $75 million a year. That program has been credited with drawing film projects to the city.
Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown offered a bill that would increase regulation of day-care centers with 12 or more children by instituting a $100 annual license fee. That money would fund inspections by the Department of Licenses and Inspections.
Brown also introduced two other bills. One would prohibit parking cars, trucks or boats on the street with "For Sale" signs for extended periods. The other would revive her effort, started last year, to require dentists to install filtration systems to remove mercury from their office wastewater.