Philadelphia not alone in budget struggles

    Philadelphia is not the only major city struggling to close a large budget gap. A new study released yesterday by the Pew Charitable Trusts looks at how 13 major cities are dealing with the recession.

    Philadelphia is not the only major city struggling to close a large budget gap. A new study released yesterday by the Pew Charitable Trusts looks at how 13 major cities are dealing with the recession.

    Listen:
    [audio: 090518spreport.mp3]

    New York City is considering property and sales tax hikes. Atlanta has cut back its entire city workforce, including police and fire, to 36 hours a week. And residents of Columbus, Ohio will be voting on whether to raise their income tax. Larry Eichel runs Pew’s Philadelphia Research Initiative.

    Eichel: We found that of the twelve cities we looked at with substantial budget gaps, only four are looking at significant tax increases. But one reason that some of the other cities are not going the tax route is that its very hard for them to do so.

    As a result, Eichel says that many cities, like Los Angeles, are looking at cutting costs through layoffs and furloughs. Some are privatizing assets, and others are cutting services like libraries and rec centers.

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