Council passes city budget

    The compromise worked out between Council and the Mayor is designed to plug a projected budget gap of more than $1 billion dollars over five years.

    Philadelphia City Council unanimously passed the $3.8 billion dollar budget for fiscal year 2010. The compromise worked out between Council and the Mayor is designed to plug a projected budget gap of more than $1 billion dollars over five years. But the plan needs state approval.

    Listen:
    [audio: 090521spcouncil.mp3]

    Soon after the budget passed protesters shouted their disapproval of the one cent hike in the sales tax.

    Chant: Where’s the people’s budget…..

    The sales tax will last for five years, and replaces the unpopular hike in property taxes originally proposed by Nutter.

    But the tax, along with changes in the pension financing need the go ahead from Harrisburg. Council President Anna Verna:

    Verna: Well, we pray and hope that it will happen, if it never happens we’re in deep trouble.

    Mayor Nutter says if Harrisburg refuses to approve a sales tax hike, its back to the drawing board.

    Nutter: That would require us to virtually restructure our entire city government as we know it. It would have a tremendously negative impact on the city.

    Nutter says that would include police lay-offs, fire engine closings and cut-backs at libraries and recreation centers.

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