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Inquirer Daily News

Archive: February, 2012

POSTED: Tuesday, February 21, 2012, 12:31 PM
Councilman Kenyatta Johnson said he is "just appalled” that there is only one domestic violence shelter in the city. (Akira Suwa / Staff Photographer)

Last week, Council adopted a resolution signaling that it’s thinking about giving more funds to domestic violence services in the next budget.

It will authorize a Council committee to hold hearings on the availability of the city’s only domestic violence shelter, Women Against Abuse. Councilman Kenyatta Johnson said he introduced the resolution in order to start a conversation about dealing with the shelter’s lack of space, which could include providing more funds to domestic violence services.

In recent years, the city and state have slashed funding to the shelter. Meanwhile, because it doesn’t have enough space, Women Against Abuse has been forced to turn away more and more domestic violence victims looking for cover each year. 

Holly Otterbein @ 12:31 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Tuesday, February 21, 2012, 10:58 AM

A DN editorial:

THE GOOD NEWS: Pennsylvania is due to receive about $69 million as a result of last week's federal settlement with big banks over improper foreclosures that were based on robo-signing and bad paperwork.

We have a sinking feeling about this settlement, though, since Pennsylvania could divert that money into the general fund instead of where it's supposed to go: to help struggling homeowners avoid or deal with foreclosure.

Doron Taussig @ 10:58 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Tuesday, February 21, 2012, 10:55 AM

Are you worried about about your property taxes going up? Should you be nervous?

On this week's It's Our Money podcast, Holly Otterbein explains to a nervous Doron Taussig that the city's property tax reassessment — Philadelphia's effort to fix its broken property tax system by appropriately valuing all its properties — will cause some folks' taxes to go up, and others to go down.

But because of timing issues, homeowners might not know how their taxes are changing until after Council has set the tax rate for the year. That means homeowners might not get a chance to debate the change before it's set in stone.

Doron Taussig and Holly Otterbein @ 10:55 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Thursday, February 16, 2012, 12:52 PM
Former City Controller candidate Brett Mandel said there won't be a real public debate about property-tax changes because of awkward timing. The Nutter administration disagrees. (Michael Bryant/Staff Photographer)

Will there be a legitimate public debate about the city’s new property-tax system before it’s set in stone?

If there isn’t, timing might be to blame. 

The Nutter administration is in the midst of fixing the city’s broken property-tax system, which has incorrectly valued people’s homes for years. It expects to mail out notices this fall informing owners of their new property values.

Holly Otterbein @ 12:52 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Thursday, February 16, 2012, 7:02 AM

This is an opinion of the Daily News People's Editorial Board, a group of 10 citizens who gather to debate hot topics in the city. To weigh in, go to www.philly.com/blogs/peb.

Rashi Anderson should have turned 18 today. But he didn't get the chance. A few weeks ago, this promising young man was gunned down a block from his house in East Germantown. There is no known motive, and no arrests have been made.

We are 46 days into the new year, and 48 people have already been killed. That puts our homicide rate 10 percent above this time last year and higher even than in 2007, when the city had almost 400 homicides.

Doron Taussig @ 7:02 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Wednesday, February 15, 2012, 9:49 AM
(Juliana Reyes)

ONE EVENING in Society Hill, on his daily jog, Brian Hamilton came across a ridiculous number of concrete slabs. The mother lode, if you will. Hundreds of the slabs, along with bundles of bricks and haphazardly placed wooden beams, lined Front Street near Walnut, taking up the equivalent of about half a city block.

There's something you don't see every day.

Except, Hamilton did start seeing the construction materials every day. It's been a year, he said, and they haven't budged.

Juliana Reyes @ 9:49 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Tuesday, February 14, 2012, 5:53 PM

Last year, the Philadelphia court system announced that it was aggressively pursuing about $1.5 billion in debts owed by hundreds of thousands of people. I reported yesterday in the Daily News that legal advocates are now saying that some of the folks being hounded don't owe any money.

I was also on WHYY's airwaves yesterday covering the topic. Listen up here.

Holly Otterbein @ 5:53 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Tuesday, February 14, 2012, 4:33 PM
Corbett's budget proposal sets aside $1 million in anticipation of a voter ID bill passing. (Ron Tarver/Staff Photographer)

All of the headlines about Gov. Corbett’s budget have been about cuts, cuts, cuts — to higher education, cash assistance, even zoos. But believe it or not, Corbett’s proposal actually increases funding in a few areas.

Some of these boosts seem to fit with state Republicans’ agendas.

For instance, Corbett’s budget proposal provides $1 million in anticipation of a voter ID bill passing. This bill was introduced by state Republicans last year, but did not pass. It would have required that voters show a government-issued photo ID before being allowed to cast a ballot. Critics argued that the bill would disenfranchise senior and minority voters.

Holly Otterbein @ 4:33 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
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.

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