TESTIMONY OF Stephen F. Jurash, President & CEO Manufacturing Alliance of Philadelphia
Testimony of Steve Jurash in Support of BIRT Tax Bill
Date: 12/11/13
Philadelphia City Council

COMMITTEE ON FINANCE
- December 11, 2013 -

Bill No. 130530



TESTIMONY OF Stephen F. Jurash, President & CEO of the Manufacturing Alliance of Philadelphia
4500 Worth Street, Philadelphia, PA 19124


Good afternoon Chairman Green and members of the Committee on Finance. My name is Stephen Jurash. I am the President & CEO of the Manufacturing Alliance of Philadelphia, a trade association for the more than 1100 companies that comprise the manufacturing sector of this City.

I am here today to testify in support of Bill 130530, AN ORDINANCE Amending Chapter 19-2600 of The Philadelphia Code, entitled Business Income and Receipts Tax.
It has never made a lot of sense to Philadelphia's manufacturers to be penalized for investing their future here in this city. Our companies invest in property, machinery and facilities. They invest in the citizens of this city with salaries more than twice what either the hospitality or retail sectors pay. The average manufacturing wage in Philadelphia is now $61 K per year, yet out of city business are exempt from taxes on sales within the city that our companies are required to pay. It has never made a lot of sense to Philadelphia's manufacturers to be penalized for investing their future here in this city.

We support this Bill because it eliminates the net income portion of the BIRT which is certainly a step in the right direction in that this now levels the playing field for our domestic companies. It is exceedingly rare for cities and other local jurisdictions to tax business income, and it is unheard of, except in Philadelphia, to tax both receipts and income at the local level.
If we value the manufacturing sector of this city, we must remember that every small fee or tax makes it that much more difficult for these companies to survive. Global competition is so intense that manufacturers cant raise prices even though costs keep rising. Manufacturing cannot raise its prices in response to increase costs, as other many other businesses can.

The costs of doing business in the United States, in the Commonwealth and in the City due to externally imposed costs  taxes, legal, regulatory, energy, health care  keep rising. A recent study shows that these costs add about 22 percent to the cost of doing business here, almost equal to the total cost of production in China - one of our most significant competitors.

We urge passage of this Bill because it will help reduce costs for many of our companies.

-END-

Christina Rockwell, Director Membership Services and Legislative Affairs christinar@manufacturingonline.org 215-948-9285 x 105
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