No New Taxes in Philadelphia Budget Proposal

Mayor Nutter delivers budget and warns of challenges ahead

Mayor Michael Nutter proposed a budget that is free of new taxes and fees.

It's also free of the hot-button spending cuts of past budgets.

The $3.45 billion Fiscal Year 2012 budget was presented to Philadelphia City Council on Thursday.

"As we begin to see signs of an economic recovery, we’re proposing new investments to create a safer, smarter, greener and more business-friendly Philadelphia," said Nutter.

To that end, the FY12 spending plan contains $34 million in new investments.

Some of the highlights include:

  • $6.4 million for a new class of 120 Philadelphia Police Officers.
  • $4.4 million to purchase new equipment and fund overtime for the Philadelphia Fire Department.
  • $4.4 million to fund the Office of Property Assessment’s evaluation of properties.
  • $4 million for snow removal efforts.
  • $1 million in funding for literacy efforts.
  • $180,000 to fund municipal swimming pools. 

Mayor Nutter announced on Tuesday that he expects all 70 Philadelphia public pools to be open for the summer 2011 season, with the help of community and corporate donations.

Nutter said during the last two years, Philadelphia closed a $2.4 billion deficit in its Five-Year Plan.  Annual spending was reduced by $130 million and 1,600 jobs were cut throught attrition.

"The City continues to face a triple threat from cuts in federal and state funding as well as cuts to Philadelphia School District resources," said Nutter.

The city may face funding cuts from the state.  Gov. Tom Corbett is set to deliver his budget address to the Pennsylvania General Assembly on Mar. 8.

The city is also waiting to assess the full impact of spending cuts being considered by the U.S. Congress.

Mayor Nutter was interrupted by members of ACT UP Philadelphia, who held up signs and called on the city to invest in homes for people with HIV and AIDS.

Nutter praised the "more than half a century" of public service of Philadelphia City Council President Anna Verna, who decided not to run for reelection in 2011.

The end of the mayor's budget address sounded like a school pep rally.

"We took our hits.  We did what we had to do.  We're fighting our way back.  We're getting things done.  Philly, we're on the rise.  Let's get to work," Nutter said.

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