Here's the release:
MAYOR NUTTER ANNOUNCES CONTROL OF BRT FUNDING TRANSFERRED
TO CITY FINANCE DEPARTMENT
Philadelphia, April 7, 2010- Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced today that, pursuant to Section 8-102 of the City’s Charter, the Board of Revision of Taxes’ (BRT) remaining available budget, except for anticipated payroll costs, will be immediately placed into reserve. The BRT will only be allowed to spend dollars from that reserve with approval from the City Finance Department. This action will also prevent the BRT from entering into new contracts for services and supplies or hiring additional personnel.
“We must take appropriate action to deal with a rogue Board that directly undermines the efforts of my Administration and City Council to reform Philadelphia’s property tax system,” said Mayor Nutter. “The BRT’s irresponsible actions must be dealt with swiftly, which is why I directed the Finance Department to take control of the BRT’s budget. Philadelphians must have confidence that their tax dollars are being collected and spent responsibly. With the Finance Department controlling the BRT’s budget, I believe this will be another step toward restoring confidence in the Board.”
“I am dismayed that the Board did not extend the Memorandum of Understanding, which placed the BRT’s day-to-day operations under the Finance Department’s control,” said City Council President Anna C. Verna. “It’s important that reform of the City’s property tax system continue without interruption.”
The BRT can continue to uphold contract and purchase orders already in place but petty cash expenditures will not be reimbursed without approval from the City Finance Department. The reserve will also apply to any amounts included in any transfer ordinance that the Administration transmits to City Council.