Nutter signs Council schools plan

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Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and Philadelphia Council President Darrell Clarke (AP Photo/Matt Rourke and ( MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer )

After months of opposition, Mayor Nutter has given in to a City Council plan to buy $50 million worth of School District property - sort of. 

Nutter signed a bill that allows the administration to send the district $50 million for the schools. But that transaction won't happen right away.

Instead, the city will advance a $60 million payment to the district that would have happened this spring. In the mean time, the city's Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation and the Commerce Department will work with the district to sell the buildings throughout the year.

As sales occur, the district will get the proceeds. If the sales don't add up to more than $61 million by the end of the year (that's $50 million for the new funding, plus $11 million in revenue the district had already budgeted for building sales this year), then the city would send the district however much more is needed to fulfill the $50 million pledge Nutter and Council President Clarke made earlier this year.

With 10 Council members behind him, Nutter said that the agreement was a compromise between him and Clarke, although it appears to involve no elements of his original proposal. Nutter wanted Council to pass a permanent extension of a temporary sales-tax increase and borrow $50 million against its future revenue. 

No Council member introduced the tax legislation on his behalf, leaving Nutter with virtually no option but to go along with Clarke's plan. 

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