Eradicating raccoons, lowering the city BPT

City Council passed legislation Thursday overhauling business taxes in the city.

The bills will exempt small businesses from paying the privilege tax and eliminate many startup fees for new companies.

Sponsors Bill Green, Maria Quinones-Sanchez and Jim Kenney say that the laws will stimulate economic growth and level the playing field in Philadelphia compared to surrounding areas when it comes to drawing new businesses.

Also passed in Council was an amendment introduced by Darrell Clarke allowing city animal control authorities to trap and release wild nuisance raccoons.

Last week, Clarke said that he has been inundated with complaints from constituents about raccoon infestations and described one such animal chasing a young girl in North Philadelphia.

Brian Abernathy of the managing director’s office said that, regardless of the legislation, animal control will not change their policy because the power to trap raccoons lies with the state and the city does not have the fiscal resources to abate them.

Furthermore, the humane aspect of the legislation is illegal, as according to state law, all wild animals caught must be killed.

“Possums and raccoons won’t hurt you,” he assured a dubious Council. “Racoons are lazy and harmless animals.”

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