Poll: city divided against itself on budget

    Philadelphia politicians are struggling to close the city’s projected $1.4 billion budget gap over the next five years. A poll of 800 city residents released today suggests the politicians aren’t the only ones divided over how to balance the books.

    Philadelphia politicians are struggling to close the city’s projected $1.4 billion budget gap over the next five years. A poll of 800 city residents released today suggests the politicians aren’t the only ones divided over how to balance the books.

    Listen:
    [audio: 090423lfpew.mp3]

    Don’t raise our taxes.

    That’s the message residents sent in the Pew Charitable Trusts Philadelphia Research Initiative poll.

    Project Director Larry Eichel says people also say they’re willing to accept fewer services, but some of the poll results reveal a contradiction.

    Eichel: We asked people for their opinion on the mayor’s proposal to reduce the workforce by 1 percent and obviously if you’re going to reduce services you’re going to need fewer people to deliver them and yet by a 2 to 1 ratio people tell us they’re against trimming the size of the city workforce. So in some ways I’m not sure people know what they want.

    The poll results differ from data collected at community budget forums where participants said they’d oppose service cuts, but be willing to accept tax increases.

    More information:
    City Council is holding a session for public testimony on the budget tonight at the Mt. Airy Church of God.

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