PHILADELPHIA - Work in the city, but live outside the city? Working from home could mean a refund for you. But that is also bad news for the city, which relies on the city wage tax to fund certain projects.
Last year's packed regional rail trains are empty these days. Hundreds of thousands of suburban commuters are now working from home.
For Joe Foglio, of Swarthmore, it soon could mean a payday.
"Because of the amount of time we’ve been spending outside the city, I figure it would be worth it," he said.
The roughly 3 and a half percent city wage tax you cough up every paycheck could come back in the form of a check.
"We’ve streamlined the process this year. One we’re offering it online this year and two employers can now petition on behalf of the employees and if your employer does it then you don’t have to do anything," Rebecca Lopez Kriss, deputy revenue commissioner for the City of Philadelphia, said.
It's no chump change, for example, a non-Philly resident making $50,000 a year and worked home for 10 months could get a $1,200 refund..
Tax refund petitions can be found on the city's website and check with your employer.
It's good news for taxpayers but bad news for the City of Philadelphia where Center City looks like a ghost town.
It's already led to cuts to the city's housing and eviction programs, arts funding, the free library, and street sweeping.
"This has been a really challenging time for individuals, families, small and large businesses, and also local governments," Marissa Waxman, budget director for the City of Philadelphia, said.
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