Nutter Delays Budget Doomsday

Mayor Nutter has pushed his planned announcement of spending cuts and possible tax reduction rollbacks into next week, saying he and his team need more time to respond to the city's rapidly-deteriorating financial situation. He now expects to make the announcement on Thursday, Nov. 6.

"We are trying to hit a moving target as we prepare our response to this fiscal crisis, requiring a constant re-calculation of the situation, and developing up to the minute responses to it," Nutter said. "As such, additional adjustments are necessary even beyond what we originally intended to announce on October 30th."

The city is facing a minimum deficit of $850 million over the next five years, up from the mayor's original estimate of $450 million. Nutter warned at a budget briefing this afternoon that $850 million was starting to look optimistic, given the state of the national economy, but he declined to offer a new range for the expected deficit.

Nutter took issue with an editorial in the Inquirer's Sunday edition, which opined that the city should be more than capable of implementing a five percent spending cut over the next five years. Nutter said that more than half of the city budget is tied up in expenses he cannot touch, such as pension payments and debt service, in effect forcing him to cut what is left of the city budget by 11 percent.

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