Ask Mark

Philadelphia's Director of Sustainability, Mark Alan Hughes, answers our readers

Q: The tax abatement costs the city millions in revenue, and discourages the renewal of existing buildings, thus causing the waste of huge amounts of energy and new construction material, while not requiring any more labor (that is, it doesn’t create jobs compared to restoring existing buildings). It also encourages private automobile ownership in the city, since all new houses are required to have garages. With rising energy costs encouraging people to move back to the city, this unfair subsidy is completely unnecessary. Will you advocate to eliminate the 10-year property tax abatement for new construction in the city?
—Jerry Silberman
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