Philadelphia's non-profits risk losing break on water bills

    Philadelphia’s non-profits have enjoyed a break on their water bills since the 1980s. Now with the city facing a budget crisis, some think its time to turn off the tap. City Council will hold a hearing on the issue tomorrow.

    Philadelphia’s non-profits have enjoyed a break on their water bills since the 1980s. Now with the city facing a budget crisis, some think its time to turn off the tap. City Council will hold a hearing on the issue tomorrow. WHYY’s Susan Phillips reports.

    Transcript:
    City Councilman Frank DiCicco says large non-profit institutions like Penn or Temple should pay their fair share when it comes to water and sewer charges.

    DiCicco: “Is it fair that agencies that are able to go out and raise money, collect money from federal and state agencies and philanthropists, alumni of colleges and universities, to not pay their fair share of water rates, when the homeowner doesn’t have the ability to go out and fund raise.”

    DiCicco says the Water Department could increase its revenue nine to eleven million dollars a year by eliminating the 25 percent discounts. He wants that revenue to go toward giving regular rate payers a break on their bills.

    But City Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell says churches and smaller non-profits won’t be able to afford losing the discount.  The revenue would not help plug the budget gap because it’s not part of the city’s general fund.

    Listen:
    Click on the play button below or right click on this link and choose “Save Link As” to download.

    [audio: reports20090309non-profits.mp3]

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