Philadelphia Tribune
March 26, 2009
The head of the new Task Force on Tax Policy and Economic Competitiveness welcomed his appointment saying he was glad to have the chance to shape a Philadelphia “renaissance.”

On Tuesday, Harold Epps, president and CEO of PRWT Services Inc., was appointed to lead the task force, announced that same day, that could lead to a Harold Epps major overhaul of the city’s tax code. He said it was an “opportunity for a renaissance for Philadelphia, to move it away from its current place as one of the more challenging places to do business.”

Nutter named the task force to “take a look at how we can make it easier to do business and create jobs in Philadelphia.”

Other commission members were: Joe Ashdale, Emily Bittenbender, Thomas Callan, Della Clark, Pelayo Coll, Anthony Conti, Joseph Dworetzky, Susanna Foo, Paulette Beale Harris, Mike Horsey, Robert Inman, Paul Levy, Christine Murphy, Angelo Perryman, Janet Ryder, Evelyn Smalls and Geri Swift.

The group was drawn from business owners, union officials, nonprofits, banks and academics, according to Nutter.

“This group of experts will put together an action plan outlining exactly what steps we need to take to overhaul our tax structure and to make Philadelphia more competitive,” he said.

The task force will release its recommendations in September.

As the head of the city’s largest minority-owned business, Epps said he was aware of the pitfalls of doing business in Philadelphia.

“I can tell you as a recent newcomer to Philadelphia and the CEO of PRWT Service, I am very aware of the expensive place Philadelphia is to live, work and do business,” he said.

He also warned the mayor the hard part of change would come after the task force makes its report.

“The easy part will be to make the recommendations from the task force, but as with any process that requires change, the hard part will be moving the city and its will forward,” Epps said.