Friday, September 18th, 2009
Philadelphia’s worst budget nightmare has been avoided. The state Senate Thursday passed the bill that Mayor Michael Nutter has been lobbying for since it was introduced in July. It raises the city’s sales tax by one cent and delays pension payments, giving the city enough revenue to avoid implementing the so-called “doomsday” budget.
The three thousand city employees who were slated for layoffs will keep their jobs. Libraries and recreation centers will remain open. And weekly trash collection will continue as usual.
Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey says he’s happy to keep police officers on the beat.
Ramsey: I feel very good I think there are a lot of very relieved police officers, I’ve had two meetings with the people who would have been laid off, the younger officer. Certainly today’s news is good news.
The measure is expected to generate $700 million dollars to balance the budget over the next five years.
The deal was tied up for months as state lawmakers tried to come to their own budget agreement.