How will Council raise money for schools?

Next week the budget process is sure to heat-up as City Council mulls over a number of proposals to raise money for the cash-strapped school district.

Today Clarke said a majority of Council members are interested in raising money for the schools the question remains as to how. Council must pass a budget by June 30.

“I believe there will be additional funding for the school district, how much and in what manner it’s not clear yet,” Clarke said. “Next week I believe that all of the action and legislation before us will start to crystallize into a single budget. This is a very complicated process.”

Mayor Nutter has proposed moving to a new property-tax system based on market values known as the Actual Value Initiative and collect an extra $94 million along the way for schools. Critics have called it a backdoor tax-hike while the Administration has said it is capturing the increase in property values.

Meanwhile some members are considering other ways to raise money including measures to increase the use and occupancy tax which applies to businesses. Furthermore uncertainty about state enabling legislation that would allow the city to adjust the millage rate down and provide a “homestead exemption” to provide relief has complicated matters.