A majority of Philadelphians are concerned with high tax burdens, and over half say that they “pay too much” for city services, according to a recent survey commissioned by The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Philadelphia Research Initiative.
Typically evenly split on the issue for the past three years, 54 percent of Philly residents now say that their tax rates aren’t worth the services they receive. And while 42 percent of respondents say they would prefer lower taxes and fewer services, 49 percent of the poll participants have said that they would actually prefer to pay higher taxes for “better” city services. This year’s result, culled from a random sampling of 1,600 Philadelphians, highlights a growing dissatisfaction with the progress of the city and citizen’s proactive stance on the its future.
Though it’s crime that still worries Philly the most, mounting frustrations with services in particular, and with the local economy in general, is no minor headache for city officials. While the “better services” for which residents asked were not defined, it is important to keep in mind the socioeconomic fragmentation that has plagued Philadelphia for years, and that the possibility of additional services should not be limited to only those who can afford to pay more for them.
Over half of the survey respondents were also in support of City Council President Darrel L. Clarke’s initiative to sell advertising space on city buildings, which he said could raise as much as $10 million a year for the city.
“I have long been of the view that the city of Philadelphia cannot tax its way out of a fiscal crisis,” Clarke said in a statement.
For the complete poll results, click here.