WEEKLY REPORT: BOARD COMMITTEE GIVES PRELIMINARY APPROVAL OF FY2023 BUDGET; THE COUNCIL WELCOMES A NEWLY ELECTED MEMBER

BOARD COMMITTEE GIVES PRELIMINARY APPROVAL TO FY2023 BUDGET INCLUDING PROPERTY TAX RELIEF, INVESTMENTS IN PUBLIC SAFETY AND SCHOOLS

A gavel on a desk next to a computerA city council committee this week gave preliminary approval to a city budget for fiscal year 2023 that will mitigate those reassessments, while continuing to invest in public safety to help prevent gun violence in Philadelphia.

The $5.6 billion budget was approved by Council’s Committee of the Whole tonight, by a 17-0 vote. It received first reading at the formal Council meeting on Thursday. Final adoption of the budget and related legislation is scheduled for June 23.

The budget deal agreed by Council and the Kenney administration takes significant steps to ease the burden on landlords, who are facing average valuation increases of 31%, following the first real estate revaluation in citywide since before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Council voted to approve an increase to the city’s homestead exemption to $80,000 from the current $45,000. This means that $80,000 of a property’s assessed value would be exempt from property taxes. For an average Philadelphia homeowner, increasing the Homestead exemption to $80,000 means an annual savings of $1,119 on next year’s property taxes.

Council also voted to increase funding for LOOP, the long-time homeownership program, which helps long-time homeowners deal with the impact of rising property values ​​and taxes resulting from gentrification. LOOP’s budget was $25 million this year. Mayor Kenney has proposed increasing it to $30 million. The Council increased it again – to $35.2 million.

In another tax mitigation effort, Council voted preliminary to reduce city payroll taxes for residents and commuters, as well as to reduce city business taxes. Resident payroll tax would decrease from 3.83% to 3.79%, while commuter payroll tax would decrease slightly from 3.448% to 3.44%.

The city’s share of income net of Business Income and Revenue Tax (BIRT) would drop from its current level of 6.2% to 5.99%. The payroll tax and BIRT cuts were approved by the Board by a 14 to 3 vote, with Board members Helen Gym, Kendra Brooks (At Large) and Jamie Gauthier (3rd District) opposing the payroll tax cuts. ‘tax. .

At a time when gun violence remains at or near record highs this year, City Council remains focused on public safety and gun violence prevention strategies. In addition to the $184 million in violence prevention programs proposed in the budget by the Kenney administration, the Council took additional steps tonight to further ensure public safety in neighborhoods.

  • Keep recreation centers with gyms open on weekends. $2.5 million
  • Expansion of the community life improvement program. $5 million
  • Public lighting improvements. $1 million
  • Licensing and Inspections Clean and Seal, Demolitions. $1 million
  • Abandoned vehicle removal. $2 million
  • Short Dumping – Cleanup, Investigations. $2 million
  • Criminal forensics laboratory. $5 million
  • Security cameras near schools. $1.8 million
  • Other camera improvements. $2.5 million
  • Staff for security cameras. $950,000
  • Phila. Police recruitment. $250,000
  • Office of the Victims Advocate. $500,000
  • Domestic Violence Helpline. $100,000
  • Defender Association. $5.8 million

“When the property reassessments were announced, the city council said it would do everything in its power to lessen the impact of these assessment increases on property owners,” council chairman Darrell L said. Clarke (5th District). “With the increase in the homestead exemption and additional funding from LOOP, the Council is taking real action to help homeowners.”

Clarke also noted that Council approved an amendment to the city’s capital budget to add funding for security cameras outside of schools where gun violence has occurred. “We need every child to be safe when they go to school,” Clarke said. “These cameras are a great start, and they will lend ‘eyes’ to law enforcement officials working to protect our children.”

“It was not an easy budget,” said council Majority Leader Cherelle L. Parker (9th District). “Led by Council Chairman Clarke, my Council colleagues and I rolled up our sleeves to negotiate improvements to the budget. We approve of property tax relief measures to mitigate the effects of reassessments. We endorse payroll and business tax cuts – to provide much-needed relief to small neighborhood businesses. At the same time, we fought to increase investment in my Philadelphia Neighborhood Safety and Community Policing Plan – including more funding for police recruitment and to address quality of life issues like cars. abandoned, public lighting and illegal dumps. This budget is a direct response to these critical needs.

The Council’s emphasis in the hearings and in this agreement on improving the quality of life was not lost on Council leaders. “Let there be LIGHTS!” said council whip Curtis Jones, Jr. (4th District). “Streetlights and lampposts don’t always make the headlines, until they don’t work. Increased driveway and walkway lighting is part of an overall public safety program. »

Other Council leaders have focused on reducing payroll and business taxes. “Negotiations and collaborations by the administration and my council colleagues have resulted in a budget that provides guarantees for our residents, while reducing the tax burden on our business community,” said council’s deputy whip. , Mark Squilla (1st district).

“At this critical time, this budget must invest in neighborhoods and show that the city is open for business,” said appropriations and education president Maria Quiñones Sánchez (7th district). “As Chairman of Appropriations, I have worked throughout this budget process to ensure that we are investing in people first and foremost.”

“We need to help homeowners with relief from the mayor’s assessment increases, as well as small business owners — especially black and brown entrepreneurs — who have been decimated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” the council member said. board Derek Green (At Large), who chairs the board’s finance committee. “As we address these issues, we must also continue to prioritize gun violence and public safety concerns.”

“I’m proud of the progress we’ve made in prioritizing tax relief for our local businesses and residents at a time when Philadelphians and businesses feel financially squeezed by rising prices at every turn,” said said board member Allan Domb (At Large), chair of the board’s Committee on Financial Stability and Intergovernmental Cooperation.

“The 2023 budget agreement reached by council members represents investments in Philadelphia to move our city forward,” said City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson (2nd District), chair of the council’s special committee on violence prevention. army. “This budget continues to increase the amount of money that is invested in grassroots organizations to reduce violence in our communities. Council also approved significant parts of my 2022 ‘Save Our Homes’ property tax relief plan which will help reduce the property tax burden for homeowners.

Council took other steps in the budget which received preliminary approval tonight, including adding $15 million for housing assistance – a critical issue during the pandemic, and just over a million dollars for protection against evictions and the right to a lawyer. The city’s Cultural Fund will receive an additional $1 million and the Free Library will receive $2.6 million in addition to the mayor’s proposed budget. Asbestos inspections in school district buildings will receive an additional $2 million, and city commissioners will receive an additional $6 million.

SEEN ON SOCIAL NETWORKS…

IN OTHER NEWS…

New council member Mike Driscoll is sworn in to represent the council’s 6th district. Since January, the Council has operated with 16 members, following the resignation of Council member Bobby Henon after his conviction on federal charges. Last Friday, the council finally regained its strength, as longtime state legislator Mike Driscoll was sworn in at City Hall as the new council member for the 6th District. Almost all of the council members came to the swearing-in ceremony in the mayor’s reception room, a positive and joyous event attended by Driscoll’s wife, several of his children, his father, a member of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania and dozens of Philadelphia politicians and officials. . Driscoll promised to serve with “humility.”

OTHER SITES AND SOUNDS OF THE COUNCIL WEEK

Finance Committee 6-9-2022

Swearing in of Council Member Michael Driscoll 6-10-2022

Committee on Public Domain and Public Works 6-10-2022

Labor and Public Service Commission 6-10-2022

Rules Committee 13-06-2022

Streets and Services Commission 14-6-2022

Parks and Recreation Commission 14-6-2022

Fiscal Year 2023 Budget Hearings 2022-06-14

Children and Youth Commission 15-6-2022

Transportation and Public Services Committee 15-6-2022

Rules Committee 15-06-2022

Fiscal Year 2023 Budget Hearings 2022-06-15

Public Security Commission 16-6-2021

Philadelphia City Council Declared Meeting 6/16/2022

The next official City Council meeting is scheduled for Thursday, June 23, 2022 at 10 a.m. The meeting will be held remotely due to the ongoing pandemic and will be broadcast on Xfinity Ch. 64, Fios Channel 40 and stream at www.PHLCouncil.com/watch.

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