Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter last week proposed eliminating nearly 340 positions after the City Council passed a $3.85 billion fiscal 2011 budget that requires $22 million of additional cuts.
Nutter’s budget plan called for a soda tax to help generate new revenue. While it implemented other revenue enhancements, including a nearly 10% property-tax hike, the council rejected the mayor’s soda tax, leaving a $22 million gap.
“A tax on sugar-sweetened beverages would have been a way to both provide the city with much-needed revenue and improve the health of residents,” Nutter said in a prepared statement.
The cuts include eliminating two new police classes for 130 new recruits, and cutting 40 firefighter positions by closing two fire department companies. Most libraries will be open four days a week, eliminating 53 positions.
The Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority, which provides financial aid to Philadelphia, will now review the budget and is expected to weigh in by July 3. The city budget cannot go into effect without PICA approval.