“I absolutely hate Plan B. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a dangerous place to be,” Mayor Michael Nutter told The Philadelphia Inquirer.
He's talking about the plan to cut 480 uniformed officer jobs and implement a permanent 6.1 percent city property tax hike -- that's $405 million worth of cuts in addition to those already on the books.
Nutter is citing the doomsday scenario because his Plan A is facing an uphill battle, and he wants to make clear that without the support from City Council, sharp cuts will take effect.
“It would be a dysfunctional government,” Councilman Curtis Jones Jr. said.
Plan B would cut an additional three medic units and five fire companies, libraries would be restricted to operate only five half-days a week, trash pickup would be reduced to three times a month, one health center would close and recreation centers would only open for four hours each day and close on Sundays, according to the paper.
City Council and residents are opposed to Nutter’s Plan A to temporarily raise property tax by 19 percent next year and 14.5 percent in 2011, as well as hike sales tax by one percentage point for three years in order to fill the city’s $1.4 billion budget gap.
In a recent Pew poll, a majority of the 800 residents surveyed said they do not want taxes to increase and would rather do without some city services. However, they also do not want city workers to face layoffs.
“If there’s any way, any kind of way possible that you can do this without raising taxes, I challenge you to find a way,” Rev. Anthony Richardson said at a public meeting Thursday.
Mayor Nutter will meet with lawmakers in Harrisburg next week.