Tax Enforcing Mayor of Philadelphia Owes Back Taxes

September 24, 2007

Some stories just write themselves. Here’s one courtesy of the Philadelphia Daily News:

PHILADELPHIA NEEDS every dime it can get to pay for services like policing our streets and teaching our students.

Mayor Street knows that.

That’s why the city recently cracked down on delinquent taxpayers. What Street didn’t know was that he hadn’t paid the property taxes on two of the four properties he owns in North Philadelphia.

That is, until the Daily News delivered the bill last week.

I’m happy to say Street moved swiftly after a three-year delay, delivering a check last Thursday to the city for $4,798.99.

Street held a news conference three weeks ago to announce the crackdown on overdue property and business taxes owed to the city.

The city then started sending out notices to 23,000 property owners, demanding payment for $394 million in back taxes. Another $294 million is owed to the city in back business taxes.

The city, Street estimated, should be able to collect about 34 percent of those back taxes – about $234 million.

For more details, check out the full article here.

But it gets better. It turns out the mayor’s brother, Milton Street (a former state senator), is facing trial for not claiming income that he allegedly owed taxes on to the IRS. And what was the source of that income? Consulting fees he charged companies for trying to get contracts with the city for which his brother is the mayor. From Newsday:

The federal tax trial for Mayor John F. Street’s brother has been postponed a second time and will now commence after the mayor leaves office.

T. Milton Street Sr. is scheduled for trial on Feb. 6, a month after his brother ends his second term.

Defense lawyer Jeremy H.G. Ibrahim, the second lawyer on the case, had asked for more time to review the prosecution evidence. U.S. District Judge Legrome Davis granted the request Tuesday.

Federal prosecutors charge that Street failed to report more than $2 million in consulting fees he received from companies trying to win or retain city contracts.

Unbelievable.


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