Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

City Carefully Watching Cash Flow

As the city anxiously awaits a Sept. 8 vote on legislation that would provide budget relief, Finance Director Rob Dubow says he is carefully watching the city's bank balance.

City Carefully Watching Cash Flow

As the city anxiously awaits a Sept. 8 vote on legislation that would provide budget relief, Finance Director Rob Dubow says he is carefully watching the city's bank balance.

"As you know, our cash flow situation is pretty tight," Dubow said today. Last month, the city started withholding most vendor payments in an effort to preserve cash. Only payroll, benefits, debt service and payments deemed emergencies are being made at the moment.

Dubow said that because they are withholding cash, the city should be able to last several months. But he stressed that they hope state relief will happen soon.

Next week, the state House of Representatives will vote on House Bill 1828, which would allow the city to temporarily raise the sales tax and defer some pension payments. Those items -- worth $700 million over five years -- are key to balancing the city budget. If the state doesn’t approve the city's budget requests, the mayor will have to implement a dire budget that would prompt layoffs of 3,000 city workers.

But in addition to the hold-up on HB 1828, the city has been strained on two other financial fronts, Dubow said. The unresolved state budget is holding up reimbursements that the city counts on for social services provided. And because the city budget is in flux, officials have been unable to do some standard short-term borrowing to cover bills.

If HB1828 passes, the city should be able to borrow money, Dubow said. But state reimbursments won't happen until the state budget is resolved, which means the city's finances will still be under some pressure.

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
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Sean Collins Walsh is from Bucks County and went to Northwestern University. He joined the Daily News copy desk in 2012 and now covers the Nutter administration. Before that, he interned at papers including The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News and The Seattle Times. E-mail tips to walshSE@phillynews.com
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