Monday, July 28, 2014
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Nutter Offers To Make More Budget Cuts

In today’s installment of “As the Budget World Turns,” Mayor Nutter has indicated to Council that he would be prepared to cut an additional $17 million from next year’s budget to help plug a projected hole of up to $150 million.

Nutter Offers To Make More Budget Cuts

In today’s installment of “As the Budget World Turns,” Mayor Nutter has indicated to Council that he would be prepared to cut an additional $17 million from next year’s budget to help plug a projected hole of up to $150 million.

Nutter’s Chief of Staff Clay Armbrister sent a letter to Council, offering to cut:

  • $5.5 million from the prisons budget
  • $3 million in police overtime
  • $3.5 million by changing vehicle financing
  • $4 million by removing a contingency fund for emergencies
  • $1 million from Council’s budget

Nutter said that any further cuts would severely impact services, saying: “we’ve gone over many of the suggestions and thoughts and recommendations. Many of the other ideas are not particularly feasible.”

Councilman Bill Green, who has pushed hard for substantial cuts, argued in City Council that the city could do more.

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“It is a weak and non-substantive response to responsible spending reductions,” Green said in response to the letter. Green has proposed not filling vacant jobs and lowering the city's surplus funds to reduce the deficit.

Council and Nutter continue to debate how to make up the rest of the budget gap before the May 31 budget deadline. Nutter's original budget proposal included an annual $300 trash-collection fee and a 2-cents-per-ounce soda tax, which would be charged as part of a retailer's business tax. Council has balked at both moves, with many members preferring a property-tax hike and more cuts.

Nutter said he is still pushing for some version of the soda tax, even at a rate lower than 2 cents per ounce.

"I'm very committed to the sugar-sweetened beverage tax," Nutter said. "We've had a lot of conversations on a lot of different scenarios and we're flexible."
 

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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