Monday, July 6, 2015

Editorial: Pooling funds

Editorial: Pooling funds

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Link: Pooling funds [Daily News]

WHAT KINDS of services do our tax dollars entitle us to?

This went from academic question to spirited debate when Mayor Nutter announced the closing of libraries and pools to fix a big budget problem. The libraries are still open, but the pools will only stay open if people donate to a newly created fund to keep this resource from perishing.

So far, the money collected is still on the shallow end: $245,000 has been pledged. The city needs to collect $600,000 by March 6 to keep 30 pools open three days a week; it will take twice that to keep them open six days a week.

As the city struggles to fill a daunting budget gap, the Nutter administration has held public budget workshops and sparked a range of discussions about how to pay for the services that city dwellers need, or expect. Fees for services like pools and trash pick-up are a possibility.

Whether or not you agree that these services are essential and the fundamental job of government, or can be more creatively funded, the pool fund has an urgency for many kids in the city who have few options.

It's a worthwhile investment; check out www.phila.gov to help. *

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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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