Philly budget struggles begin today

Council President Darrell Clarke will run budget hearings

As Philadelphia City Council begins budget hearings today,  it appears at least part of the spending blueprint is in trouble. 

A number of City Council members including Councilman Ed Neilson see the Nutter Administration request for a more than 9 percent property tax hike “dead on arrival” in council.

“Because I think it’s unfair that we even entertain a tax increase prior to the state implementing their budget,” he said.

Councilman Bill Greenlee says a major tax hike for the schools just doesn’t have momentum.

“A lot of us and I’m one feel that this almost 10 percent real estate tax hike is probably not the best way to go at this point,” Greenlee said.

There is support for additional school funding, but Greenlee says it will have to be found by combing the budget for other ways to provide revenue.

Mayor Nutter broke with tradition by including a specific increase for the schools as part of his proposed budget.  Such additional dollars are usually plugged into the city budget later in the process, often after it becomes clear roughly how much money likely will come from Harrisburg.

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