State legislative gridlock has cost Philadelphia the opportunity to collect roughly $20 million to date in potential sales tax revenue. The failure of lawmakers in Harrisburg to adopt measures to help city coffers balance the budget for the current year has forced city officials to now craft a revised budget that includes 3,000 layoffs and spending cuts.
Philadelphia has until Aug. 31 to submit an alternative budget to the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority, which oversees the city's finances. The city's original budget was balanced based on temporarily increasing the sales tax to 8% from 7% and making lower pension contribution payments this year and next to match revenue with expenditures. Those two initiatives require legislative approval.