PICA punts on a vote on Nutter's 'Plan C'

The city's financial watchdog today declined to approve - or reject - Mayor Nutter's "doomsday" budget plan.

In its place, the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority conditionally approved another financial plan, one that buys the city more time to gain Harrisburg's OK for two measures that would pump $700 million in revenue into Philadelphia's five-year spending plan.

The conditionally-approved plan assumes the state will allow the city to raise the sales tax and defer pension payments for two years - and gives the state until Sept. 18 to act. That's the day that Nutter has vowed to mail layoff notices to 3,000 employees, unless the legislature makes a move.

If the state still doesn't act by then, the city must resubmit the doomsday plan - known as Plan C - to the authority.

PICA's actions today prevented the authority's five-member board from having to possibly reject Plan C - a move that may have "embarrassed" the city, said City Councilman Bill Green - while at the same time giving the legislature more time to do something.

To be clear, though, Plan C may have been on the path to rejection, with PICA chairman James Eisenhower saying it was not "reasonable" for the mayor to submit a budget plan that did not fund Philadelphia's court system, which Plan C did not.

"It goes without saying that this is unprecedented, and these are unprecedented times," he said.


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