Last year’s critics are this year’s critics of Philadelphia budget

    Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter says his new budget avoids cuts to libraries, recreation centers, and police and fire departments.

    Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter says his new budget avoids cuts to libraries, recreation centers, and police and fire departments.

    With this plan, the mayor says he’s responding to last year’s critics. But some of the same critics don’t like how the mayor wants to pay for those services.

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    Last year, Mayor Nutter faced something akin to a populist revolt against his plan to shutter some libraries and recreation centers. Today, the mayor said his budget preserves all essential services, in part, by charging for trash collection and taxing sugary drinks.

    But the same folks who rallied against last year’s proposed library closures, now say his plan to charge for trash and sugar is the wrong way to balance the budget.

    Sherri Cohen is with the Coalition for Essential Services.

    Cohen:
    We oppose the regressive taxes proposed by the mayor on poor and working class people in the form of sugary drinks and in the form of trash.

    Cohen says large non-profits in the city like hospitals and universities don’t pay their fair share because they are exempt from property taxes. She says those institutions should be forced to chip in.

    Universities say they do contribute through wage and other taxes, as well as voluntary contributions to the community.

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