May 8, 2023 - Politics

What the would-be mayors of Philly earn

Illustration of Benjamin Franklin wearing a vote button.

Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

The five leading Democrats running for mayor are far wealthier than the average Philadelphian. And the wealth gap between them is wide.

  • That’s according to the Inquirer, which requested and analyzed candidates’ tax returns from 2019 to 2021. Three of the five participated.

Why it matters: Philly's next mayor will manage a city where nearly a quarter of the population lives in poverty and the median household income is not quite $53,000, per Census data.

Here’s where the candidates’ finances stand, per the Inquirer.

Cherelle Parker made a combined $276,000 in 2020 and 2021 while on City Council.

  • In 2019, she took an early disbursement from her state pension ($94,000) and earned $38,000 for serving on the board of Independence Blue Cross.

Rebecca Rhynhart and her husband, wine distributor David McDuff, made between $235,000 and $275,000 annually from 2019 through 2021.

  • Rhynhart was City Controller then, with a salary of nearly $150,000.

Helen Gym and her husband, lawyer Bret Flaherty, made $364,000-$451,000 cumulatively from 2019 through 2021, according to partial tax returns she supplied.

  • Gym served on City Council during that time, where her salary was more than $130,000 a year.

Jeff Brown is wealthy but did not provide his tax documents to the Inquirer.

  • The fourth-generation grocer owns several ShopRite stores in the region.
  • His Rittenhouse brownstone is assessed at $5.6 million — the second-most valuable row home in the city, per the Inquirer.
  • Brown has contributed at least $1 million to his campaign, per campaign finance reports.

Allan Domb is also wealthy but did not submit his tax documents to the Inquirer.

  • He's a real estate magnate who owns more than 400 properties in the city, which are assessed in excess of $400 million, per the Inquirer.
  • He has poured at least $7 million into his campaign.

Of note: Candidates for political office in Philly aren't required by law to release their tax returns.

Meet the candidates with our Smart-Brevity voter guide


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