Mayor Nutter’s plan to hike property taxes 9% for more school funding continues to draw skepticism from City Council members.
Rob Dubow, the mayor’s finance director, says raising property taxes by nine percent is the only way the city can raise the additional $103 million the school district needs next year.
The dust from the 2013 reassessment of all properties in Philadelphia has barely settled, and city officials are planing more.
The controversy came as the mayor backed off slightly on plans to cut the city wage tax.
The head of the PICA board told the mayor’s finance director that he’d like to see the city do more belt-tightening in order to start a rainy day fund.
At a Council hearing this morning, school district COO Fran Burns said seven of the 27 buildings have buyers, and the rest are not likely to bring in as much as had been hoped.
BRT executive director Carla Pagan confirmed that the measure approved last month by Council to give board members a pay raise had its intended effect: the BRT has now greatly increased the number of appeals it is hearing.
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.
City council and the mayor are split over extending a grace period for those whose appeals are still pending when the bills come due.
Over the objections of the Nutter administration, a City Council committee has approved its own plan to funnel an extra $50 million to the city’s cash-starved school district.
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.
PICA Board chairman Sam Katz says he wants more information from the Nutter administration about money the city would have to set aside for unresolved municipal labor contracts.
Rob Dubow, the mayor’s finance director, argued against raising the city’s “U&O” business tax and in favor of boosting taxes on liquor and cigarettes.
The discussion, titled “Philadelphia Taxes — Past, Present and Future.” was organized by the Pew Charitable Trusts and Temple University’s Center on Regional Politics.
City Council members are wondering how they and the mayor will come up with an extra $60-million for the school district and whether the state will do its share.