Article by Jennifer Karpchuk on “Philly Special: An Interview With Revenue Commissioner Frank Breslin”
In an article published on July 27, 2020 in Tax Notes State, Philadelphia-based Shareholder Jennifer Karpchuk interviews Philadelphia Revenue Commissioner Frank Breslin to discuss his career, some of the Philadelphia Department of Revenue’s responses to COVID-19, the effect of the health crisis on the city’s revenue and tax policies, and a glimpse into what the future holds for the City of Brotherly Love.
“COVID-19 has been the most difficult challenge. There was little time to prepare and no existing playbook to turn to, especially since the situation continually changes. Our Continuity of Operations Plan was formulated for a natural disaster, but never for a pandemic. In a short time, we had to put together a plan that prioritized the health and safety of our staff, while keeping our department’s essential functions operating,” explains Breslin to Karpchuk when asked what has been the most difficult challenge he has faced thus far.
Breslin additionally discusses how the department has responded to COVID-19, learning that the response was almost immediate and included the announcement of the closure of nonessential businesses. Breslin shared that he assembled a team to monitor tax issues, implement tax policies and issue guidance.
“COVID-19 has had some devastating financial impacts across the country. What is the condition of the city’s economy and revenue in light of COVID-19 and are there any ideas that you have on the revenue side to fill budget gaps?” asks Karpchuk. Breslin explains that the city’s economy has been affected by the crisis and is anticipating a shortfall for the next fiscal year which will result in significant spending cuts and some tax increases.
To read the full interview between Karpchuk and Breslin, subscribers may click here.