I'm glad to hear that Philadelphia is considering continued reform to its business-tax system. First, please eliminate the prepay requirement, where a business must pay its first-year taxes and all projected second-year taxes on April 15 following its first year. For a new business that may not have a consistent year-over-year income - or, if it was successful in its first year, may be considering major capital investments - prepaying taxes on 100 percent of the year could cripple the business or discourage investment for growth. The federal system of quarterly post-payments of taxes offers a more workable model.
Second, any tax relief or incentives for businesses should be considered with an eye to both the actual costs associated with hosting a business in our city (roads, courts, education, etc.), and with careful regional collaboration that can prevent isolated municipalities from bankrupting themselves in a competitive race to attract businesses by instituting unsustainably low taxes or outright abatements. If our governors and mayors work together, we can raise the bar and concentrate enough clout to demand businesses pay their fair share.