Thursday, April 17, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Morning Money: Prisons in Mexico?

- A new report shows that Pennsylvania’s first congressional district, which includes Chester, South Philadelphia and parts of North Philadelphia, is among the hungriest in the nation. - Remember that fight between Jon Corzine and newly elected New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie over New Jersey’s possible budget deficit? Well, a nonpartisan budget officer told a legislative panel yesterday that Christie could be right about facing a $1.3 billion budget shortfall to close out the fiscal year. Corzine had said that he left behind a surplus. - Pittsburgh officials are trying to assess the impact on city finances of being denied a $29 million request for stimulus funds targeted at neighborhood stabilization initiatives. - The city of Harrisburg is considering major tax hikes and asset sales to deal with a projected $164 million deficit over the next five years. Under the mayor’s fiscal recovery plan, property taxes would rise by a whopping 117 percent in 2011. - The Bethlehem water company is exploring green options to save some money. It’s considering ways of getting paid to maintain its watershed, a forested area up in the Poconos that acts as a natural carbon sink. - And finally, we here at It’s Our Money have a motto when we get down about Pennsylvania government: At least we're not California. The projected shortfall in Cali has gotten so large that Gov. Schwarzenegger is asking why the state can’t house some of its prisoners in Mexico, since building and maintaining a prison there would be cheaper.

Morning Money: Prisons in Mexico?

  • A new report shows that Pennsylvania’s first congressional district, which includes Chester, South Philadelphia and parts of North Philadelphia, is among the hungriest in the nation.
  • Remember that fight between Jon Corzine and newly elected New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie over New Jersey’s possible budget deficit? Well, a nonpartisan budget officer told a legislative panel yesterday that Christie could be right about facing a $1.3 billion budget shortfall to close out the fiscal year. Corzine had said that he left behind a surplus.
  • Pittsburgh officials are trying to assess the impact on city finances of being denied a $29 million request for stimulus funds targeted at neighborhood stabilization initiatives.
  • The city of Harrisburg is considering major tax hikes and asset sales to deal with a projected $164 million deficit over the next five years. Under the mayor’s fiscal recovery plan, property taxes would rise by a whopping 117 percent in 2011.
  • The Bethlehem water company is exploring green options to save some money. It’s considering ways of getting paid to maintain its watershed, a forested area up in the Poconos that acts as a natural carbon sink.
  • And finally, we here at It’s Our Money have a motto when we get down about Pennsylvania government: At least we're not California. The projected shortfall in Cali has gotten so large that Gov. Schwarzenegger is asking why the state can’t house some of its prisoners in Mexico, since building and maintaining a prison there would be cheaper.

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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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