The taxes are the biggest issue I see, for both businesses and residents alike. The wage tax is currently keeping me out of the city, and my company was able to lure a big chunk of a competitor's work force by using that as our selling point: "No wage tax." Folks can mock me for my decision all they'd like, but I sure like having an extra 2+%/year (Norristown is currently 2.1%) of my salary in my pocket every year. And if I leave Norristown (which I may be doing this Spring), I will put another 1% back into my pocket depending on where I move, making that a 3+% gap between the 'burbs vs. the city. Yes, the rents are sometimes cheaper in the city depending on where you live, but it usually still does not avg. out to be a fair trade because other expenses (e.g. car ins.) go up in the city as well. Plus, I don't really see much for the money that the city takes, sorry. It's simple economics that keeps Philly lagging slightly behind. The world is so competitive now and not only do you need to compete w/ other metros, but now you need to compete within your own. Philly has a lot of bright spots in its metro to compete with, and it's time to step back up to the plate. Lower the taxes, and I guarantee you will see businesses and residents flock in no time. Philly is a pretty damn cool place w/ a lot to offer, and not a hard sell IMO *IF* you can take care of the city services/quality of life issues as well.
Now, I know that may seem like a contradiction, to lower taxes and improve on or increase services, but it can be done w/ belt tightening. Like it or not, this is not something the Democrats have ever been good at. Like others suggested, we need a regime change for sure. And speaking of, Corbett is going to change the game for Philly I think, and I'm not so sure that is a bad thing...
In other news:
Major makeover for The Latham Hotel
By Suzette Parmley
Inquirer Staff Writer
The Latham Hotel wants to elevate its game and offer guests more of a four-star, than a three, experience. That's why it's undergoing a major makeover.
"The hotel needed to be renovated and refurbished," Tom Varley, vice president of operations for Ocean Properties Ltd., the hotel's owner, said in a phone interview Tuesday from Portsmouth, N.H.
"We are going to relaunch the property . . . with major upgrades to guest rooms and public spaces, and including new food and beverage concepts."
The Latham's chief rivals, Varley said, are the Kimpton-owned Palomar and the Sofitel Hotel, both about a block away and also just off Rittenhouse Square.
The upgrade is needed for The Latham to be competitive, he said. Currently, it "does not provide the food and beverage amenity, and certainly, by providing [that] component, it provides for a better experience. . . ."
Varley declined to put a price on the renovation other than to say it was a "multimillion-dollar" refurbishing, only the second renovation since Ocean Properties acquired The Latham in 1995.
Read more: http://www.philly.com/inquirer/busin...#ixzz1BXVqBWZq