Business: Beating the Tax Bite

Businessmen are always grumbling about rising taxes, but they rarely make good on threats to take their firms out of town to avoid the bite. Last week, to escape a new 50-per-share city tax on stock transactions, the Philadelphia-Baltimore-Washington Stock Exchange abruptly began moving to the suburbs from its imposing quarters in downtown Philadelphia.

Even though a court order temporarily restrained the city from collecting the levy, the nation's oldest exchange (founded in 1790) started trading in makeshift leased quarters in the affluent Main Line town of Bala-Cynwyd, a 25-minute auto ride from the city center. Lacking the traditional opening bell, George...

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