Philly’s $500 million budget surplus could disappear if there is a financial downturn

A new report finds Philly has a sizable budget surplus for the first time in a long time.

The Philadelphia skyline is pictured at night

The Philadelphia skyline is pictured at night during the fall of 2021. (Mark Henninger/Imagic Digital)

For the first time in city history, Philadelphia is projected to have a budget surplus of $500 million. But despite that, a new report from the group overseeing the city’s finances says a fiscal downturn could still cause problems.

The city will have a $505.3 million budget surplus at the end of the fiscal year, according to the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority’s report for the end of the first quarter on Sept. 30. That’s $133.1 million higher than projected in the City’s FY2023 – FY2027 Five Year Plan.

If the projections hold true, the surplus would exceed $500 million for the first time.

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PICA executive director Harvey Rice said the city has a surplus at levels never seen since the group’s inception.

“The city is at their target for a fund balance, however under the Government Financial Officers Association, they are still below what they recommend,” he said.

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