City Controller Revisits Suggestions To Help In Budget Crisis

City Controller Alan Butkovitz dusted off today a list of suggestions he has previously made on how the city can rake in some badly-needed cash during the current budget crisis.  Here's the news release he sent out:

Butkovitz Responds to PICA’s $25 Million Requirement
City Controller outlines $277 million in revenue ideas for City’s five-year plan

PHILADELPHIA – Responding to the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority's (PICA) requirement that the City find an additional $25 million in revenue, City Controller Alan Butkovitz today outlined a number of potential earnings and savings opportunities worth $277 million.

“These are unrealized opportunities that have been presented to the City through departmental and performance audits conducted by my Office,” said Butkovitz. “Recurring savings would allow the City to avoid the annual headache of searching for new ideas to close budget deficits.”

A few of the one-time and annual revenue generating ideas include the following:
-Collect owed fines and fees through the Clerk of Quarter Session; $70 million (one-time)
-Collect amounts owed for trash violations, sanitation fines and other public citations; $34 million (one-time)
-Implement a tax amnesty program to collect estimated $1 billion owed for all tax types; $100 million (10 percent collection rate – one-time)
-Increase billing amounts and increase collection rate for EMS dispatches; $46 million, and (annual)
-Deposit tax payments in a timely manner; $1 million (annual)

“One-time payments alone could generate $227 million for the City,” said Butkovitz. “Additional revenues and or savings could generate $50 million each year going forward."

“Rather than cutting essential city services and laying off much-needed police and firefighters, I believe the City should explore these revenue and cost-savings options.”

Other earnings and savings opportunities provided by the Controller include collecting amounts owed for excessive alarm violations, $19 million (one-time); implement a tele-nursing system to reduce unnecessary EMS runs, $2.5 million (annual); and eliminate unused city cellular phones, $168,000 (annual).

“As we continue to confront our worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, I would strongly recommend that PICA urge the City to take immediate action and begin to implement these revenue generating measures.”

To review the list of earnings and savings opportunities as well as other reports and reviews issued by the Controller’s Office, please visit www.philadelphiacontroller.org 

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