In Pennsylvania, a tax deal finally pays off… for Shell. Nearly four years ago, then-Governor Tom Corbett signed a tax incentive bill to bring Royal Dutch Shell to Pennsylvania. The crux of the deal: Tax credits to reduce Shell’s overall tax liability by up to 20 percent. To get the credits, the energy giant had to invest at least $1 billion in the state and create at least 2,500 jobs. Shell just decided to build a petrochemical plant in Beaver County.
In Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emmanuel moves forward on a tax rebate. State lawmakers refused to increase a homeowners’ property tax exemption, so Emmanuel will work with Chicago aldermen to structure a property tax rebate instead. The rebate would mitigate the impact of the $543 million property tax hike enacted last year to help cover policy and firefighter pensions. Which begs the question: How will the city cover the cost of the pensions if property tax revenues are cut?
In Philadelphia, a sugar tax may soon be a reality. The Philadelphia City Council committee has approved an amended version of a soda tax proposal that would set a 1.5 cent-per-ounce tax on sugary and diet drinks. The Council plans to vote on the measure today, with a final vote next week. Mayor Jim Kenney lacked necessary votes for his preferred 3-cent-per-ounce tax on soda and other sugary drinks. Revenues are supposed to help pay for universal pre-kindergarten, community schools, and park improvements.
Will the estate tax help build your music library? Prince Rogers Nelson, the late musician known as Prince, died in April and his estate may owe tax of as much as $150 million in January. The lawyers managing the estate need cash to cover the bill, and if Prince died without much, they may need to sell non-cash assets such as unreleased songs.
Speaking of music… New York State lawmakers are considering a 25 percent tax credit for music producers in metropolitan New York City and 35 percent for those working upstate. The credit would cover costs like studio rental fees, instrument and equipment rental fees, mixing and mastering services, and production session fees. It would also cover costs related to hiring programmers, engineers, and technicians. The credit would be capped at $25 million per year.
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