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  #61  
Old Posted May 24, 2019, 12:11 PM
cardeza cardeza is offline
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Originally Posted by summersm343 View Post
Clearly speaks to the poor business tax climate in the city, no? You think the city government would wake the F up and see this.

Still, I'm OK with having a multi-node employment metro area, but still, 2-3 more Fortune 500s and 2-3 more Fortune 1000s in the Metro area would be nice.
What makes you think every big company wants to be in the city or that nationwide HQs are in skycrapers downtown? Just because we live close to NYC doesn't mean that is representative of what you find nationwide. Some companies like having campuses outside of the city- regardless of any other factors.
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  #62  
Old Posted May 24, 2019, 12:29 PM
ScreamShatter ScreamShatter is offline
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Originally Posted by cardeza View Post
What makes you think every big company wants to be in the city or that nationwide HQs are in skycrapers downtown? Just because we live close to NYC doesn't mean that is representative of what you find nationwide. Some companies like having campuses outside of the city- regardless of any other factors.
In an era where the nationwide trend has been for companies to move from the burbs into the city, we should stop and ask ourselves "what's preventing that from happening in Philly?" As you said, it may be that the suburban Philly companies have legit reasons for remaining there. But it could, as is also highly probable and well documented at this point, that Philly's tax structure is part of that problem as we have some of the highest and least business friendly taxes in the country.
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  #63  
Old Posted May 24, 2019, 1:20 PM
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I dunno. I think blaming things like this on city wage and business taxes is too easy. IMO, the Philly-metro suburbs have very good infrastructure and very large business parks are located next to large communities and also within a 30-45 minute drive. So, you have people with skillset ready to fill the required positions of these companies that want to remain in the burbs. And, REITs still maintain and promote these business parks in the burbs. No matter how you cut it, it is still an attractive options for large companies to stay in the burbs in this metro area. This is a complex issues and no one size fits all answer will mitigate what we think we know.
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  #64  
Old Posted May 24, 2019, 2:29 PM
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Originally Posted by iheartphilly View Post
^
I dunno. I think blaming things like this on city wage and business taxes is too easy. IMO, the Philly-metro suburbs have very good infrastructure and very large business parks are located next to large communities and also within a 30-45 minute drive. So, you have people with skillset ready to fill the required positions of these companies that want to remain in the burbs. And, REITs still maintain and promote these business parks in the burbs. No matter how you cut it, it is still an attractive options for large companies to stay in the burbs in this metro area. This is a complex issues and no one size fits all answer will mitigate what we think we know.
I feel like we have this conversation every week. There are definitely some companies that will always choose the burbs because they better suit their business needs and management and employee preferences and lifestyles. Regardless of taxes and business climate. But there are definitely SOME companies that are dissuaded from locating in Philadelphia in favor of the burbs when they otherwise might locate here because of the tax and regulatory environment. It is not the only factor, but it can be the deciding factor for companies when balancing everything out. Not just big companies either, but many small and medium size companies. My firm is one of those. I know a number of others just in my social circle, altogether probably accounting for around 1,000 employees. It adds up.
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  #65  
Old Posted May 24, 2019, 3:22 PM
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Originally Posted by cardeza View Post
What makes you think every big company wants to be in the city or that nationwide HQs are in skycrapers downtown? Just because we live close to NYC doesn't mean that is representative of what you find nationwide. Some companies like having campuses outside of the city- regardless of any other factors.
I agree with you. Certain companies prefer being located in the burbs, for sure.

However, you can't disagree that with a better business tax climate in the city, that 2-3 more of these Fortune 500s/1000s would be located in the city.

That's why I said only 2-3 more would be in the city, and not ALL of them. I'm being realistic. And reality is, a couple/few of these companies probably would move into the city if it wasn't for higher taxes.

Case in point - AmerisourceBergen is anchoring a new highrise in Conshy. Not Philly - Conshy. And while at this point, they probably preferred that for commuting reasons based on where their employees and execs live, at one point in time, they may have moved to Center City or Schuylkill Yards near 30th Street station if the tax climate in the city was better.
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  #66  
Old Posted May 24, 2019, 5:04 PM
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Originally Posted by summersm343 View Post
I agree with you. Certain companies prefer being located in the burbs, for sure.

However, you can't disagree that with a better business tax climate in the city, that 2-3 more of these Fortune 500s/1000s would be located in the city.

That's why I said only 2-3 more would be in the city, and not ALL of them. I'm being realistic. And reality is, a couple/few of these companies probably would move into the city if it wasn't for higher taxes.

Case in point - AmerisourceBergen is anchoring a new highrise in Conshy. Not Philly - Conshy. And while at this point, they probably preferred that for commuting reasons based on where their employees and execs live, at one point in time, they may have moved to Center City or Schuylkill Yards near 30th Street station if the tax climate in the city was better.
I mentioned this a while ago without naming the company, but I do know for a fact that they looked at commuting patterns when deciding to move... and found that moving to Conshohocken would mean longer commutes for most employees because most of them lived in places like Chester County or western Montco. They assumed it would be the opposite (that Conshohocken would be more centrally located for their employees) because, in part, they expected to find that more people would be commuting from the city than actually do. I think they also considered locating even closer to Philly - but not in the city itself; I'm assuming like City Ave, but don't know for sure - but the commuting stats told them that Conshy was as far as they really wanted to move.
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  #67  
Old Posted May 24, 2019, 6:11 PM
cardeza cardeza is offline
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Originally Posted by ScreamShatter View Post
In an era where the nationwide trend has been for companies to move from the burbs into the city, we should stop and ask ourselves "what's preventing that from happening in Philly?" As you said, it may be that the suburban Philly companies have legit reasons for remaining there. But it could, as is also highly probable and well documented at this point, that Philly's tax structure is part of that problem as we have some of the highest and least business friendly taxes in the country.
The overall migration to the burbs has slowed, if not reversed nationwide, but let's not get out of hand and act as if suburban campuses are vanishing. Really, outside of the NE and Chicago suburban style mega complexes are more the rule than the exception- think about the DC metro area which is fullof midrise office buildings adjacent to highway interchanges. . think about many of the software companies. I can't believe people reduce all these complex factors down to "if Philly had lower taxes, no company would ever be in the suburbs". Really? Not only to many execs and workers live out there, some folks LOVE free parking, park like environs, no homeless people or "urban" issues, etc. I believe Equus noted that one of the reasons they were moving to Newtown Square was that many of the employees lived out there and they wanted their own conveniently located corporate compound in an upscale suburban environment.
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  #68  
Old Posted May 24, 2019, 6:14 PM
cardeza cardeza is offline
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Originally Posted by jsbrook View Post
I feel like we have this conversation every week. There are definitely some companies that will always choose the burbs because they better suit their business needs and management and employee preferences and lifestyles. Regardless of taxes and business climate. But there are definitely SOME companies that are dissuaded from locating in Philadelphia in favor of the burbs when they otherwise might locate here because of the tax and regulatory environment. It is not the only factor, but it can be the deciding factor for companies when balancing everything out. Not just big companies either, but many small and medium size companies. My firm is one of those. I know a number of others just in my social circle, altogether probably accounting for around 1,000 employees. It adds up.
The thing is the "regulatory" environment is something that is evolving in all large liberal cities. People often cite issues as if we are in a vacuum and every other large city is Utopian. Cities from NYC to San fran to Seattle have passed and will continue to pass "progressive" rules that the business community will generally oppose. This may not be an issue in the sunbelt- but it is is NE and West Coast cities, including many that are supposedly far more desirable than ours.
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  #69  
Old Posted May 24, 2019, 6:18 PM
cardeza cardeza is offline
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Originally Posted by summersm343 View Post
I agree with you. Certain companies prefer being located in the burbs, for sure.

However, you can't disagree that with a better business tax climate in the city, that 2-3 more of these Fortune 500s/1000s would be located in the city.

That's why I said only 2-3 more would be in the city, and not ALL of them. I'm being realistic. And reality is, a couple/few of these companies probably would move into the city if it wasn't for higher taxes.

Case in point - AmerisourceBergen is anchoring a new highrise in Conshy. Not Philly - Conshy. And while at this point, they probably preferred that for commuting reasons based on where their employees and execs live, at one point in time, they may have moved to Center City or Schuylkill Yards near 30th Street station if the tax climate in the city was better.
There are numerous KOZs available, including SY so that doesn't fly. If they wanted to be here they would have been. Between the tax abatement and KOZ they probably could have operated out of Philly for LESS- at least until the KOZ expires. Rest assured the property taxes on that new building will be reflected in the rent charged. I believe KOZ exempts you from everything but the wage tax. In spite of all the stories we've seen about companies coming into the city (including Entercom) it seems like anything short of a fortune 500 HQ is dismissed. This region has few as it is- we aren't talking about a big pie here.
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  #70  
Old Posted May 24, 2019, 7:00 PM
jsbrook jsbrook is offline
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Edit: oh, never mind. Believe what you will, cardeza. Happy Memorial Day to all.

Last edited by jsbrook; May 24, 2019 at 8:19 PM.
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  #71  
Old Posted May 24, 2019, 11:06 PM
ScreamShatter ScreamShatter is offline
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Originally Posted by cardeza View Post
The overall migration to the burbs has slowed, if not reversed nationwide, but let's not get out of hand and act as if suburban campuses are vanishing. Really, outside of the NE and Chicago suburban style mega complexes are more the rule than the exception- think about the DC metro area which is fullof midrise office buildings adjacent to highway interchanges. . think about many of the software companies. I can't believe people reduce all these complex factors down to "if Philly had lower taxes, no company would ever be in the suburbs". Really? Not only to many execs and workers live out there, some folks LOVE free parking, park like environs, no homeless people or "urban" issues, etc. I believe Equus noted that one of the reasons they were moving to Newtown Square was that many of the employees lived out there and they wanted their own conveniently located corporate compound in an upscale suburban environment.
I sat on a corporate selection committee that assessed new markets for a new office for a large suburban Philly company. Business leaders weren't willing to consider expansion into Philly because of taxes. It really was that simple.

And not to get into a big debate about taxes, but Philly has some of the highest taxes in the US when factoring PA and city taxes. If you look at other US cities like NYC or San Fran, their wage taxes are 4% and 1.5% respectively and many cities don't have wage taxes. It definitely is one factor, of many, that contribute to Philly's business unfriendly environment.
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  #72  
Old Posted May 24, 2019, 11:12 PM
ScreamShatter ScreamShatter is offline
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Originally Posted by iheartphilly View Post
^
I dunno. I think blaming things like this on city wage and business taxes is too easy. IMO, the Philly-metro suburbs have very good infrastructure and very large business parks are located next to large communities and also within a 30-45 minute drive. So, you have people with skillset ready to fill the required positions of these companies that want to remain in the burbs. And, REITs still maintain and promote these business parks in the burbs. No matter how you cut it, it is still an attractive options for large companies to stay in the burbs in this metro area. This is a complex issues and no one size fits all answer will mitigate what we think we know.
I don't disagree with many of your points. Speaking from direct experience, it's actually harder recruiting in the burbs than the city. But with that said, if you look at many of those large suburban Philly companies they have large offices inside OTHER cities, but not inside Philly. The combination of Philly taxes and the governance of the city turn off many companies from being located in the city -- fair or not, that is a huge factor in why many companies choose our burbs over the city.
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  #73  
Old Posted May 25, 2019, 10:33 AM
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After many years, we finally have a brand new Philly highrise thread and by page four we are in the same old knockdown tax discussion that’s been had dozens of times.
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Philadelphia transportation thread: http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=164129
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  #74  
Old Posted May 25, 2019, 12:50 PM
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After many years, we finally have a brand new Philly highrise thread and by page four we are in the same old knockdown tax discussion that’s been had dozens of times.
surprised?
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  #75  
Old Posted May 26, 2019, 2:27 PM
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I literally never comment here and I just like to lurk, but the constant arguments over taxes are so annoying. It sucks that the mod team is completely incapable of keeping the discussion on track. It’s even more pathetic when the mods actively join in to derail the discussion. It gets old.
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  #76  
Old Posted May 26, 2019, 2:31 PM
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I find taxes an important topic, but they really deserve their own thread. There may even be one, that no one pays attention to.
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  #77  
Old Posted May 26, 2019, 3:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Philly-Drew View Post
After many years, we finally have a brand new Philly highrise thread and by page four we are in the same old knockdown tax discussion that’s been had dozens of times.
The facts are that the city needs to completely overhaul it's tax code.

Philadelphia was the first city to implement a wage tax in 1939.

Mayor's Tate and Rizzo (AKA Mayor Crumb Bum) thought that raising property taxes was bad and didn't want to burden homeowners so they raised taxes on things that could move out...like wage and business taxes. So they did. Rizzo really jacked those taxes in the 1970's to pay for lavish public contracts that still haunt the city today....and the city lost close to 300000 residents. The wage taxes hit their highest in 1985 and within 5 years the city was teetering on bankruptcy.

So while they do need to levy taxes to pay for the city...they way they go about it puts too much burden on certain sources that keep job growth down. New York might be able to get away with it but Philadelphia cannot.

We wouldn't need 10 year tax abatements or soda taxes if we just had a tax code that made sense and was fair and equitable to all.

Commercial property owners have told they city they would pay higher rates than homeowners if they could bring down wage and business taxes. They know they could get their money back in a Philly creating far more jobs.
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  #78  
Old Posted May 26, 2019, 3:36 PM
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I literally never comment here and I just like to lurk, but the constant arguments over taxes are so annoying. It sucks that the mod team is completely incapable of keeping the discussion on track. It’s even more pathetic when the mods actively join in to derail the discussion. It gets old.
A lot of the problem is activity. Summers seems to be the only active mod on this subforum. If we had another or maybe even two more (especially given the traffic this sub gets) things could get back on track.

The issue with a separate thread for these things is that one cannot be made. In order to be properly tagged as Philadelphia, something has to be in one of the development subforums, and not anything else. This is why the Transporation thread cannot be tagged and put in this subforum. Any political discussion thread would have the same problem.
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  #79  
Old Posted May 27, 2019, 3:19 AM
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Originally Posted by mcgrath618 View Post
Any political discussion thread would have the same problem.
this actually sounds like the opposite of a problem.
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  #80  
Old Posted May 27, 2019, 1:52 PM
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this actually sounds like the opposite of a problem.
I don’t disagree that it should be separated, but inherently it’ll receive less traffic and people will still discuss politics here, a la what happens regarding the Transportation thread.
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