Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Time to tell Council what you think

As Ben noted, one take-away from what happened in Council yesterday is that, having now gone through an extensive budget hearing process, city government does not appear to be a whole lot closer to a decision about how to close this year's deficit. No one likes any of the options, but they're not ready to take anything off the table, and few want to be seen to be associated with what now looks like the most likely outcome (a property tax hike).

Time to tell Council what you think

These guys told Council what they think.
These guys told Council what they think. TOM GRALISH / Staff photographer

As Ben noted, one take-away from what happened in Council yesterday is that, having now gone through an extensive budget hearing process, city government does not appear to be a whole lot closer to a decision about how to close this year's deficit. No one likes any of the options, but they're not ready to take anything off the table, and few want to be seen to be associated with what now looks like the most likely outcome (a property tax hike).

We suppose if you want to look for a bright side in this, it's that Council appears to have at least identified a few potential scenarios -- you've got your 12 percent property tax hike, your nine percent property tax hike with additional cuts, your soda tax and trash fee, your soda tax without the trash fee (maybe coupled with a property tax hike?), and now your spending reductions, proposed by Councilman Green -- and might actually be trying to gauge which are the most palatable politically. This means that now is an excellent time, if you have strong feelings, to weigh in. Contact your Council member, or just tell us what you think in the comments below. We're pretty confident that someone associated with Council will see it.

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Every year, city government spends slightly more than $4 billion. Where does all that money come from? More importantly, where does it go? Are we getting the most bang for our tax buck? “It's Our Money” is a joint project between Philadelphia Daily News and WHYY, funded by the William Penn Foundation, designed to answer these questions.

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