So the revised budget deal announced yesterday by Mayor Nutter and City Council was considered by many insiders to be a political loss for Nutter. The mayor was forced to give up a proposal to temporarily hike the property tax for two years after Council staunchly refused to get behind the plan.
But Nutter today insisted that the new deal -- which instead features a five-year increase of the sales tax and defers some payments into the city pension fund to free up cash in the immediate future -- was no different from his original budget proposal.
"We cannot get distracted by was it this funding source or that funding source. A budget is not just the numbers of where the dollars came from, a real budget is about where the dollars are going. The budget that I introduced on March 19 is the budget I expect to be passed on May 21. There has been no transformation," Nutter said.
Nutter repeatedly said that the spending side of the budget plan has not changed, arguing that therefore the budget plan was the same.
When a reporter noted that Nutter had pushed for a temporary property tax hike to fund the budget, Nutter said: "That was an idea a while ago. There is no perfect way to fund a budget."
Nutter also suggested that the media is focusing too much on the politics of the deal. "I know this is quite intriguing conversation among the ten of us who want to play who’s up, who’s down. The people walking down the street, they don’t care how we fund it," he said.