Councilman Kenyatta Johnson introduced a bill today that would create a dollar-for-dollar tax credit for businesses that contribute to workforce development.
“This tax credit will make skilled labor positions more available by encouraging businesses to invest in low-cost skill certification programs,” Johnson said. “This will employ folks with higher paying jobs, increase our tax base and is the exact type of investment government should be making in our workforce.”
Businesses that contribute $60,000 to a “Qualifying Scholarship Organization” — defined in the bill as a nonprofit organization that provides scholarships and job placements to students obtaining “Skills Certificates,” — will receive a tax credit of the same amount against their Business Income and Receipts Tax.
A “Skills Certificate” is a “certificate from a short-term program that confirms the holder has gained employable skills,” such as welding, assistant nursing or HVAC repair, according to the bill.
The Revenue Department, in partnership with the Commerce Department, will determine which nonprofits qualify.
Businesses must contribute $60,000 to receive the credit, or split the total with another business so that each contributes $30,000.
Johnson said the bill was inspired by a guest post on Generocity.org, which was re-published in the Philadelphia Business Journal.
“[Generocity.org] columnist and Urban Affairs Coalition Manager of Partnerships and Outreach, Tivoni Devor, made a compelling argument to connect tax credits to job training, which was found in the Philadelphia Business Journal article, Generocity: Why Philadelphia Should Invest In Skilled Labor Development,” Johnson said.
Devor is also constituent of the the 2nd District, which Johnson represents. Steve Cobb, the councilman’s director of legislation, said he was already familiar Devor’s work in workforce development for UAC.
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After reading the column, “we thought, let’s see if we can expound on that idea,” Cobb said.
If passed, the tax credit would come into effect in 2016.
Top photo via Alex Vuocolo. Inline photo via Tivoni Devor-30-
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