Thursday, December 18, 2014

Budget Director Says Police and Fire Cuts Looming Without More Tax Revenue

We've got more detail on the cuts Mayor Nutter says he'll have to make without additional budget revenue.

Budget Director Says Police and Fire Cuts Looming Without More Tax Revenue

During town meetings in 2008, Mayor Nutter reacts to discussion on his proposed cuts in fire and library services at Kensington High School. Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers (left) answers questions. (File photo)
During town meetings in 2008, Mayor Nutter reacts to discussion on his proposed cuts in fire and library services at Kensington High School. Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers (left) answers questions. (File photo)

We've got more detail on the cuts Mayor Nutter says he'll have to make without additional budget revenue.

According to a letter Budget Director Stephen Agostini today sent to Nutter's chief of staff, the city needs to cut $20 million from the budget to manage city cash flow. In the letter he outlines the suggested cuts, which include:

  • Eliminating two police classes scheduled for this year -- $4.5 million
  • Deactivating two fire companies, eliminating 40 jobs -- $3.6 million
  • Cutting library hours to four days a week -- $2.5 million

The budget plan passed by Council this morning - which includes a 9.9 percent two-year property-tax hike, along with taxes on some tobacco products and an increased commercial-trash fee - gives the city a $42 million surplus-fund balance. Nutter says that is not enough money to get through the year, an argument that Council has not been sympathetic to so far.

Nutter this morning sent a letter to Council saying that if they don't pass a soda tax or increase the temporary property tax hike, that he will have to eliminate $20 million from the budget. Despite the threat, they did not vote on the soda tax.

More coverage
 
After Nutter details cuts, still no soda tax interest
 
Is this the same old false alarm? Or are these budget cuts for real?
 
Read Nutter's cut details yourself
 
Council says no soda tax. Nutter says: Cuts.
 
Budget director: Police and fire cuts loom
 
Council passes budget; soda tax fizzes out
 
With death of soda tax, Nutter's budget and clout are hurting
 
Use scarce state funds for corporate aid, governor says
 
Nutter to cut $20M, 339 jobs
About this blog
Chris Brennan, a native Philadelphian and graduate of Temple University, joined the Daily News in 1999. He has written about SEPTA, the Philadelphia School District, the legalization of casino gambling, state government, the mayor, the governor, City Council and political campaigns. E-mail tips to brennac@phillynews.com
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@phillynews.com
 Follow Jenny on Twitter.

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