Thursday, February 11, 2016

Podcast: Meet the budget referee

After months of gamesmanship, City Council finally passed a budget last Thursday. But the game isn't over yet. The referee still gets to make a call.

Podcast: Meet the budget referee


After months of gamesmanship, City Council finally passed a budget last Thursday. But the game isn't over yet. The referee still gets to make a call.

The Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority (PICA) is charged with deciding whether the city has enough money to pay for the spending proposed in its five-year plan. It's not supposed to weigh in on actual budget choices – which is why it's kind of like a referee. It calls fair or foul, but otherwise stays out of the game.

Though PICA has never rejected a city budget, two PICA board members, including new chair Sam Katz, suggested at a meeting last week that they might vote against the budget because it funds DROP. Not because the city can't pay for DROP, but because it's part of a losing game plan.

It doesn't seem likely PICA would actually scuttle the budget over DROP. But these comments raise the question of what kind of referee PICA is going to be.

On this week's It's Our Money podcast, Doron Taussig and Ashley Nguyen explore this issue in sportscast form (and kind of torture the sports metaphor to death – thanks to Brett Mandel for the idea).

Follow us on Twitter and review city services on our sister site, City Howl.

We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy: comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog
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.

It's Our Money contributors

Tips? Comments? Questions?

Holly Otterbein:

It's Our Money
Also on
letter icon Newsletter