10% Property Tax Hike for Philly

Soda tax gets nixed and Nutter's job cuts threat falls flat

If you own a home in Philly, consider yourself a "temporary" savior for the city -- you're paying to help solve the budget crisis.

City Council gave final approval Thursday to a 9.9 percent property tax hike for the next two years.

Mayor Nutter's controversial soda tax got nixed altogether. After he spent the last week lobbying for an even lower tax, Council didn't even take it up. The planned hearing got canceled after a threatening letter from the Mayor.

Nutter sent the letter this morning to Council members, warning that unless Council either passed the soda tax or raised property taxes even more, the only he'd have left would be cutting hundreds of jobs -- police and fire departments included.

"The reductions cover multiple departments; reduce costs by over $20 million; and will eliminate well over 300 positions. It is important to note that in many instances, these reductions will result in significant service reductions," the Mayor said in his letter.

Council members met behind closed doors for about an hour, KYW radio reports, then came out and canceled the soda tax hearing.

After that power play, city leaders went on to approve the property tax hike as well as a tax on non-cigarette tobacco related products.

Those new taxes will help close a $150 million budget gap. Overall, it will cost $3.9 billion dollars to run the city in 2011.

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