Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter last week called for state legislative action by Aug. 15 on initiatives that would balance the city’s fiscal 2010 budget and avoid layoffs of 3,000 employees and $700 million in cuts to its five-year plan.
State lawmakers have yet to approve initiatives related to the city’s fiscal 2010 budget as they are caught up in a fiscal 2010 budget stalemate. Both the state and the city’s fiscal 2010 began July 1.
Philadelphia, which suspended paying its vendors in mid-July, is looking to raise additional revenue through a temporary sales-tax hike of one cent and to reduce expenditures by decreasing its contribution to pension funds in fiscal 2010 and 2011. In addition, the city would like to spread out its pension obligations over a 40-year period, from the current 20-year plan.
The Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority, which oversees the city’s finances, gave Philadelphia until Aug. 15 to balance its budget. Without the sales tax and pension initiatives, the city would be forced to eliminate nearly 1,000 police jobs, shut down six fire engine companies, and close libraries, health clinics and recreation centers in order to cut its $3.84 billion fiscal 2010 budget by $250 million. Overall, the city will need to find $700 million of spending cuts over five years.