Starved for cash, Philly Council president pushing for ads on city buildings

City buildings, maybe even Philadelphia’s iconic City Hall, could soon sport advertising.   The proposal is designed to generate some non-tax revenue for a city struggling to balance its books.

Philadelphia City Council President Darrell Clarke says everything from trash trucks to city buildings could be covered with advertising to generate millions of dollars a year.

“It’s a message to the citizens of the city of Philadelphia that it’s time for us to look at revenue streams beyond sticking our hands into the taxpayers’ pockets, and that’s been the first response to a fiscal challenge and we have to stop that,” said Clarke.

Stephanie Kindt of the group Scenic Philadelphia says she can’t believe Clarke is even making such a proposal.

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“We can be way more creative in terms of generating revenue for the city than this,” said Kindt. “In the long term this proposed bill will effect property values, will effect tourism, how the citizens look at and feel about our city.”

Scenic Philadelphia says the group will consider challenging the plan in court if its approved by council and the mayor.

Clarke floated the idea last year, but the bill never advanced in council.  It did inspire a huge uproar.  He is not saying for sure whether City Hall would be included.  Clarke is emphasizing that regulations would be put in place to make sure unsuitable and unsavory ads are not plastered on city property.

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