Nutter Says Temporary Sales Tax Hike Needed to Maintain Services

Mayor Nutter today confirmed that he will include a temporary three-year one perecent increase to the sales tax in his budget plan -- a measure he said would help him avoid cuts to  libraries, recreation centers, homeless services or health centers.

"We need to pay a little more in taxes to get us through the short term economic crisis," Nutter said during a press conference at the Marion Anderson Recreation Center at 17th and Fitzwater streets . Nutter will formally introduce his budget to City Council tomorrow.

The sales tax increase -- which would raise the local rate from 7 to 8 percent -- would require approval by the state legislature. Calling it "a penny with a purpose," Nutter said that the city would be forced to make drastic cuts if the increase isn't approved.

Nutter said he plans to keep open all city libraries and recreation centers, as well as maintain all beds in city homeless shelters. He also said all health centers will remain open, although the city will start charging modest fees.