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Newtown to back move to allow suburbs to capture part of City Wage Tax


At a May meeting, Newtown Township Supervisors voted unanimously to authorize township solicitor David Sander to draft a resolution supporting an amendment to the Sterling Tax Act in hopes of bringing back hundreds of thousands of dollars being lost to the Philadelphia City Wage Tax.

The measure, championed by Bucks County State Sen. Frank Farry, recently passed the Pennsylvania State Senate and is on its way to the state house.

Sander explained, "This is a widely embraced step in the right direction to get additional earned income tax revenue into the hands of all municipalities in which folks live who happen to work in Philadelphia. This resolution would urge our elected officials to vote for it and put it through."

He added that neighboring townships, such as Northampton, have adopted similar resolutions and nearly all municipalities in the Philadelphia suburbs support the amendment because it’d bring substantial money back to their communities.

While workers themselves will not be paying lower overall taxes, 1 percent of the 3.44-percent Philadelphia city wage tax would be redirected to each worker's home municipality. According to township manager Micah Lewis, Newtown will be saving upwards of $360,000 that previously went to Philadelphia.

The amendment would allow up to 1 percent of the income earned by a person who lives outside of Philadelphia but works in the city to be paid to their home municipality.

In other news, the supervisors met in executive session prior to the meeting to discuss pending litigation regarding the Provco/Wawa development. The board may be moving toward a settlement agreement with the Wawa legal team countering the township on multiple fronts. No official action has been taken by the township.

During the meeting, resident Terry Christiansen spoke about traffic and safety concerns he has with the development. "I have concerns that there are not adequate provisions made for pedestrian traffic or bicycle traffic. The Wawa is going to be an attraction for young people."

"I would encourage you as this moves forward to make sure that we are adequately protecting our young people because most of the people who are going to be attracted to that store live north of the bypass. I hope I'm wrong about this but it looks like a tragedy in the making."

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