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As Philadelphia Eyes State Budget Cuts Ahead, Question Of City Tax Hike Looms

By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Mayor Michael Nutter says it is too soon to say whether massive cuts in Governor Tom Corbett’s proposed state budget will force the city to raise taxes to make up the shortfall.

For a third straight day, the Nutter administration on Thursday was on a public relations offensive against the Corbett budget. Mayor Nutter convened a meeting of heads of numerous social service agencies to review the impact of the cuts.

“This was not done with a scalpel, but with an axe,” the mayor said. “It will rip to shreds the social safety net here in the city of Philadelphia.”

Aides to the mayor estimate the impact of the state cuts on the city at more than $40 million (see related story).

Nutter was asked by reporters if he’ll need to push for another tax hike to make up the shortfall.

“Your question is tremendously premature, and we’ve had no discussion about that,” the mayor replied. “We do not know at this point how, as a city, we would try to deal with the magnitude of these cuts, as well as to the school district and other parts of our budget.”

The mayor presents his budget to City Council in two weeks, and the state cuts will likely be a focal point.

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