Nutter Slashes Police & Fire Departments, Tax Reductions, City Services

With a gap in the city's five-year financial plan now more than $1 billion, Mayor Nutter today announced a sweeping plan to eliminate jobs, overtime and city services while delaying tax reductions.  The budget gap -- at least $108 million for this fiscal year alone -- is the result of a downturn in the economy and loses in the city's pension fund.

Nutter, speaking in a live television broadcast just after noon, said "We will get through these tough times."

Nutter said he would not lay off police officers, fire fighters or emergency medical technicians.  All city fire stations, health centers and recreation centers will stay open.  His plan to measure and improve city department services through the new PhillyStat and 311 programs will also continue.  

Nutter's budget plans: 

  • Delay business and wage tax reductions until 2015.
  • Eliminate 220 existing jobs, 600 unfilled jobs and 2,000 seasonal, part-time and contract jobs.
  • Reduce all overtime, including in the Philadelphia Police Department.
  • Cut 200 unfilled police jobs.
  • Cut five Philadelphia Fire Department engine companies and two ladder companies.
  • Close 11 branches of the Philadelphia Free Library and end Sunday hours at three branches.
  • Close 68 of the city's 81 pools and three of five ice rinks. 
  • Eliminate the Adolescent Violence Reduction Partnership.
  • Cut Town Watch Integrated Services by 50 percent.
  • End support for the Dell East summer concert series and the city's $355,000 contribution to the Mummer's Parade.
  • Cut by half the increases proposed for this fiscal years for the budgets of the Housing Trust Fund, the Community College of Philadelphia and the Cultural Fund.
  • Eliminate limited residential street cleaning, snow removal on smaller streets and dedicated collections for tree leaves and tires.
  • Salary cuts for the Mayor, his staff and cabinet, deputy mayors, and the Managing Director's Office.
  • Require five furlough days this year and next year for any exempt employee earning more than $50,000.

Nutter transmitted to City Council today seven pieces of legislation to enable several of his budget moves.  Council Majority Leader Marian Tasco submitted them. Council President Anna Verna said the legislation has to be voted on before Council adjourns for the holidays.  Council's last meeting is Dec. 11.