Sunday, February 7, 2016

Council in budget chaos

City Council is nowhere on the city's budget.

Council in budget chaos


City Council is nowhere on the city's budget.

A floor debate now underway on council floor over the fate of the proposed tax sugary sweetened makes that perfectly clear.

For weeks, it has seemed the sugary drinks tax was dead. But when Councilman Brian O'Neill proposed formally killing the legislation minutes ago, a host of council members protested, saying it was premature and irresponsible to take that off the table. So O'Neill backtracked, and withdrew his motion, only to suggest moments later that Nutter's proposed garbage fee ought to be formally killed as well. He withdrew that notion too.

From a practical point of view, the debate meant little. But it served to underscore the total lack of budget consensus on Council at the moment.

Earlier, Councilman Frank DiCicco withdrew a bill he had proposed which would have increased property taxes by 12 percent. It was replaced by a bill offered up on behalf of council's democratic leadership that would raise the real estate tax by nine percent.

But that figure could easily change, moving up or down depending on what mix of cuts or other revenue choices council makes.

Council only has a little over a month left before it must send Nutter a final budget.

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The Philadelphia Inquirer's Chris Hepp, Tricia Nadolny, Julia Terruso, and Claudia Vargas take you inside Philadelphia's City Hall.

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