From The Sip Trunking Experts

TMCNet:  Councilmen see link between tax compliance, construction safety

[July 19, 2013]

Councilmen see link between tax compliance, construction safety

Jul 19, 2013 (Philadelphia Daily News - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Is there a correlation between tax compliance and construction-site safety? Members of City Council's Special Investigatory Committee, created to look into last month's fatal Center City building collapse, seemed to think so. The committee held its third hearing yesterday.

"One indicator is if you're not paying your taxes, you're probably not providing a good safety plan," said Councilman Curtis Jones Jr., the committee chairman, referring to comments from demolition-industry experts. "The shame isn't on them for trying to circumvent the system. The shame would be on government for not closing those loopholes." Members also called for better communication among departments. The Department of Licenses and Inspections, for instance, issues licenses and permits. First-time applicants must be tax compliant to receive a permit or license, but it's the Revenue Department's job to collect taxes and go after tax deadbeats. Various other departments play a role as it relates to construction sites.

"The thing that's sad is [the collapse] could have been stopped across the desk, at that permit issuance if Revenue had communicated with L&I," said Councilman Jim Kenney.

Plato Marinakos, the permit expediter involved in the fatal collapse of a four-story building onto an adjacent thrift store last month, was granted demolition permits in February even though he owes the city thousands of dollars in taxes dating to 2002. He and the contractor, Griffin Campbell, had both filed for bankruptcy.

Frank Breslin, deputy commissioner for the Revenue Department, said the city is working to establish a data warehouse that will allow departments to easily access and share information.

"How many times can you get a payment agreement?" Kenney asked. "I'm in compliance, I get a permit. I'm out of compliance, I get into a payment agreement. I'm in compliance, I don't pay my taxes and I'm out of compliance. How many times can that dance go on?" Breslin said that generally, a person gets three chances. The first time the city offers a "generous" payment plan. But, if a person defaults on it, he or she is offered a more stringent payment plan.

"The third time, we take a hard-line look at a very large down payment, 50 percent or no payment agreement at all," Breslin said. "We can say: 'Not only are you not eligible for a payment agreement, but if you don't come into compliance, we're going to close your business.' " The administration was criticized for not allowing representatives from L&I and the Fire Department to attend yesterday's hearing. The Fire Department submitted written testimony.

Meanwhile, the 3-1-1 Contact Center has made a series of changes to the way it handles service requests related to dangerous conditions. The center has updated its information concerning dangerous situations to better assist agents, established a system to ensure requests are processed in a timely fashion, the L&I commissioner receives alerts related to any dangerous conditions and L&I has assigned a department liaison responsible for monitoring and updating information in the 3-1-1 database.

Council intends to issue a report, recommend best practices and introduce legislation to improve the system. Council's next Special Investigatory Committee meeting will be Aug. 1.

On Twitter: @Jan_Ransom Blog: ___ (c)2013 the Philadelphia Daily News Visit the Philadelphia Daily News at Distributed by MCT Information Services

[ Back To SIP Trunking Home's Homepage ]

Subscribe here for your FREE
SIP TRUNKING enewslettter.

Featured Partner

Featured Whitepapers

SIP Security for the Enterprise
Voice over IP (VoIP) is incorporated into a variety of computer networks, both public and private, and used for everyday transactions and communications among carriers, businesses, government agencies...

Making A Broadband Purchase Decision
Businesses today have many options for broadband connectivity. Clarifying your particular business needs prior to selecting a broadband provider will ensure an optimal match of broadband service to your requirements.

Voice-Optimized Network Delivers Premier Call Experience
Customers equate call quality with business quality. Real-time communication, interpersonal interaction, and the cordial tone of a call center representative can create a positive impression of your business that no email can match.

Featured Case Studies

Business Telecom Expenses Reduced 50%
A small to medium sized company in the midwest was interested in migrating to IP Communications, but in today's economy, they were hesitant to upgrade their communication system due to their perception that the cost would outweigh the benefits.

Multi-State Company Cuts Telecom Costs 50%
A multi-site, multi-state company with extensive monthly long distance fees and toll-free charges did not have adequate broadband for Broadvox SIP Trunking requirements, nor did they have a SIP enabled telephone system.

Discover Leisure Connects Remote Users to its IP-PBX
Discover Leisure is one of the largest resellers of caravans and motor homes in the UK. With 15 branch of?ces all over the country, the company spent a great deal of money every month just on internal phone calls.

Featured eBOOKS

Internet+: The Way Toward Global Unified Communication
Connecting the telephony of the enterprise PBX or Unified Communications (UC) system using SIP trunks instead of conventional telephone lines has been very successful in recent years.

What is SIP Trunking? Edition 2
SIP trunking is becoming more of a focus for service providers. One key issue many service providers face when deploying SIP trunks is NAT, or Network Address Translation, traversal.

What is SIP Trunking? Edition 1
A vast resource for information about all things SIP - including SIP, security, VoIP, SIP trunking and Unified Communications.

Featured Videos

Broadvox VAR Testimonial VAR 1:
Part 1 of the VAR (Value Added Reseller) Partner Program Testimonials for Broadvox...

E-SBCs AS The Demarcation Point:
Ingate's Steve Johnson talks to Erik Linask about the role session border controller plays as the demarcation point at...

Demystifying DPI
How can deep packet inspection protect your SIP traffic as well as your entire network?

Featured Resources

Partner Program Overview:
Over 4,000 VARs, Master Agents, Solution Providers, and Independent IT Professionals trust Broadvox. We offer customized services and solutions to fit seamlessly into any company's business model. And when you partner with Broadvox, every member of our team stands behind you and your customers 100%...

SIP Trunk UC Summit

What's New

Presenting the New Ingate/Intertex Website:
Internet+ is an extended Internet access allowing high quality SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) based real-time person-to-person communication, everywhere and for any application. It applies to both fixed and mobile networks ...

Featured Blogs

Featured Webinars

Secure SIP Trunking:
What You Need to Know

Successfully Deploying Enterprise SIP Trunking:
Tools and Techniques for Overcoming Common Roadblocks

Featured Podcasts

Getting the Most Out of Your SIP Trunks:
Ingate's Steve Johnson and TMC's Erik Linask discuss how best practices forgetting the most out of SIP Trunking services and common pitfalls to avoid.

Featured Datasheets

Ingate SIParator E-SBCs
Adopting SIP is a simple process with the Ingate SIParator, the secure enterprise session border controller (E-SBC). The SIParator makes secure SIP communications - including VoIP,SIP trunking and more - possible while working seamlessly with your existing network firewall.

Ingate Firewalls
Everyone is talking about enterprise usage of VoIP, instant messaging and other types of realtime communications including presence and conferencing.

SIP Trunk Solutions for Service Providers
The award-winning Ingate Firewall and Ingate SIParator deliver a high quality, reliable SIP trunk connection between the customer's IP-PBX and the service provider network, and solve interoperability issues to simplify deployments and support for remote diagnosis of reported issues.