The chambers of Philadelphia City Council were packed to the rafters with angry union members as mayor Michael Nutter prepared to unveil his new budget.
Aides to the mayor were in the hot seat Wednesday as city council members grilled them over the controversial new property assessments that have some residents fuming.
The Council hearing came one day after the administration decided to continue the legal battle and appeal the arbitration award in Commonwealth Court.
City controller Alan Butkovitz says his office found numerous mistakes in the books for Fiscal Year 2011, which ended on June 30th of last year. The city finance director notes they represented accounting errors, not misplaced funds.
Bill Gault, the head of firefighters’ union Local 22, called Nutter “arrogant,” and a member of the state board that oversees city finances called the decision “a red flag.”
City Council passed a budget last month, but the Nutter Administration’s financial woes are from over. This coming week the mayor must deliver a long-range spending plan to state officials.
Confusion reigns at Philadelphia City Hall as council and the Nutter Administration grapple over the already overdue budget as well as how to fix the property tax system.
The mayor’s budget hinges on state approval of a homestead exemption, and separately, gaining the ability to adjust the split of property taxes between the city and the school district.
Nutter’s finance chief Rob Dubow tells Councilman Bill Green property tax hikes will be fair because they’re based on actual value of the home.
The ruling could cost the city and the school district millions of dollars.
One day after the head of Philadelphia’s School Reform Commission admitted to financial mismanagement under the SRC’s previous leadership, City Council members voiced misgivings about raising an extra $90 million to help bail out the school district.
Mayor Nutter’s budget experts were in the hot seat as Philadelphia City Council opened hearings on Nutter’s plan to revamp the way property assessments are calculated in the city.
Philadelphia property owners, residential and commercial, brace yourself: Mayor Nutter is unveiling a new budget while laying out a plan that will mean higher property taxes for many.
Dr. Donald Schwarz says he has “not seen anything like this before.”
Councilwoman (and Penn State alumna) Blondell Reynolds-Brown has authored a bill in which any city employee convicted of sexual abuse of a minor would forfeit his or her city pension.