But the lawmakers voiced frustration at how the school district conducts its business.
Councilman-at-large David Oh says there are plenty of dimes and nickels tucked away in corners of Mayor Michael Nutter’s budget proposal.
City Council president Darrell Clarke has decided to play it safe, adding a fallback provision to his plan to send sales tax proceeds to the cash-starved school district.
Students at the Community College of Philadelphia face a possible tuition increase next fall unless the city and the state chip in more.
“Schools are not okay the way they are,” says Cindy Farlino, principal of the Meredith School, in Queen Village. “They opened, and our kids came, but they are not okay.”
A coaltion of organizations wants City Council to approve a one-percent sales tax extension and use all of the proceeds — about $120 million — for the Philadelphia schools.
Members of labor unions representing various groups of Philadelphia municipal workers marched around City Hall both before and after Mayor Nutter’s budget address, to push their concerns.
Nutter boasted that his $4+ billion spending plan includes no tax increases, but he warned that something must be done to meet the school district’s latest request for an additional $75 million in city funding.
According to a budget overview obtained by KYW Newsradio, additional money for inspectors will “strengthen demolition controls to ensure safe public and private demolitions.”
Councilwoman Maria Quinones Sanchez proposes upping the school district’s share from 55 percent to 60 percent, which she says would shift about $53 million per year from the city to the schools without raising taxes.
Developer Brooke Lenfest (center of photo) wants to build two hotels — a “W” and an “Element” — on what is now a parking lot at 15th and Chestnut Streets.
A City Council committee has okayed a major change in the city’s Business Income and Receipts Tax, but any final vote may not come for many months.
It is the second major relief program to result from the new property assessments that were mailed out earlier this year, for tax bills that are due early next year.
The five members of PICA -– the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority -– voted unanimously to approve Mayor Nutter’s long-range budget despite misgivings over the slim surpluses and the looming cost of new union contracts.
Rob Dubow says the Philadelphia school district’s budget woes could get worse if City Council doesn’t approve a bill to make permanent the once-temporary hike in the sales tax.