Archive: April, 2010
Check out this story in the Detroit Free-Press about the motor city's financial woes. Here's an excerpt:
Detroit Mayor Dave Bing's proposed $2.9-billion budget doesn't slice and dice through city services or its employees, but it does trim the workforce by 300, moves satellite offices back to City Hall and reduces spending in nearly every department.
Bing, who presented his first spending plan to the City Council on Tuesday, shaved $101 million in city spending to create his 2010-11 budget. If approved, it will go into effect July 1.
Check out this Washington Post pic of Mayor Nutter and actor Kyle MacLachlan at a congressional hearing earlier this week. Don't they look chummy?
City Councilman Darrell Clarke prepares to introduce legislation taxing cigars and loose tobacco.
A Scottish investment firm with a Philly office steps in to save the Dad Vail Regatta.
Zane Memenger is the proposed new U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Councilman Darrell Clarke plans to introduce legislation on Thursday to tax some tobacco products in the city. He said the tax would be levied as part of a business’ gross receipts tax and could raise $6 million annually.
That amount isn’t nearly enough to plug the projected $150 million budget hole, but Clarke said every little bit helps. The bill would impact cigars, chewing tobacco and rolling papers -- but not cigarettes, he said.
"An overwhelming majority of council members will support this measure," Clarke said. "It’s at a point where we’re trying to find any measures we can find consensus on."
Here's the release:
Butkovitz’ Fraud & Special Investigations Unit
Provides City $1 Million in New Tax Dollars in 2009
Controller’s findings include beer distributor that now owes $218,000 for business taxes
PHILADELPHIA – With the April 15, tax filing deadline one day away, City Controller Alan Butkovitz released a list of tax revenues and savings totaling over $1 million that was generated by his Fraud & Special Investigations (FSI) unit in 2009.
A budget analysis commissioned by City Council suggests that members are continuing to look at changes to the city’s business privilege tax as part of the solution to the city’s financial problems.
According to a report from the Econsult Corporation, the city could raise an additional $20 million in revenue by shifting the balance of the city’s business tax, which has two components -- a gross-receipts portion, which taxes firms on their sales, and a net-income portion, which taxes profits.
The data Econsult provided to Council states that if the gross receipts rate went from .1415 percent to .2 percent and the net income rate went from 6.45 percent to 6 percent, the city could realize $20 million in additional revenue.
The city is expanding the use of "Big Belly" trash cans around Philadelphia after good reviews in Center City.
The state General Assembly contemplates the use of armed state agents to check beer labels in three Philly bars.
The School Reform Commission is expected to take some heat for selling for $1 land now used for a playground that will become senior-citizen housing.
As budget negotiations drag on, Councilman Bill Green is plugging away at a proposal to decrease the size of the budget hole.
Throughout the budget hearings, Green has been keeping a running tally of unfilled jobs and new positions being added to city government. He estimates that by cutting the vacant and new jobs, the city could save $40 million. Green also suggests lowering the budget surplus in the 2011 fiscal year from $64 million to $38 million.
If the city took both recommendations, Green said the budget hole would be reduced down to about $80 million, instead of the roughly $150 million hole Mayor Nutter says he must plug