We hope Tax the Rich PHL will serve as a resource hub for community members and grassroots organizations fighting to Tax The Rich.
Check out our Fact Sheets and Revenue for a Just Recovery Plan to learn more!
What is the Philly Wealth Tax (aka the Personal Property Tax)
● This is a tax on the value of intangible assets such as stocks and bonds held by individuals and businesses. The tax is distinguishable from the School District unearned income tax, which taxes the income from intangible assets, rather than the book value of those assets.
● This tax was in effect most of the 20th century and cities are explicitly authorized to enact it under state law;
● The tax falls almost exclusively on the rich, banks and other corporations, since they are the ones who hold the kinds of assets that are subject to the tax, and because retirement accounts will be excluded;
● The rate of the tax is capped at the very low rate of 0.4%, or $4 of every $1,000 of assets.
“Time to Reinstate the Philadelphia Intangible Wealth Tax” – policy brief from the PA Budget and Policy Center (3/28/22)
To illustrate our progressive revenue proposals and the way that the wealthy and corporations have profited during the pandemic and dodged taxes, check out our visualization below!
In the top half, you can see how much revenue our proposals will generate by clicking on the dropdowns on the left side and selecting ‘Yes’. Watch that revenue add up under the ‘Total Raised’ box and then flow to our public services on the right and fund our communities! For more information see our Sources document.
In the bottom half, you can explore how some of our unfriendly neighborhood corporations have dodged taxes in the map on the left. Mouse over the circles (sized by their wealth) to find out some egregious facts, and use the dropdown to the right to see what tax avoidance strategies they use. Next to the map is a list of our region’s billionaires where you can see how much wealthier they have become during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Note for Underfunding: Many of our underfunding numbers are based on recent budget cuts and are not meant to encompass the decades of disinvestment in public services that have happened in Philadelphia (and elsewhere). A real accounting of the underfunding of our city’s public services would have much larger numbers.
Note on Revenues: The estimates below are based on the best data we could find available, and are likely to be undercounted, especially for taxes that require the city to be aggressive in enforcing them. Philadelphia’s city government needs to be transparent and release detailed data about how it is levying taxes on business and wealth in order for the public to know that those with the most are paying their fair share.
For more information see our Sources document.