Since Mayor Nutter was drowned out by boos, here’s the budget breakdown

Mayor Michael Nutter’s annual budget address to City Council was cut short on Thursday after a packed crowd of disgruntled municipal employees drowned him out with boos, forcing Council to recess the meeting.

Nutter later finished his speech in the Mayor’s Reception Room.

WATCH:

“I have nothing but the deepest respect for the thousands of public employees who work on behalf of 1.5 million Philadelphians,” he said, noting a fair contract must balance the interests of employees and taxpayers.

“Investing in public employees requires reasonable pay increases and health care benefits, but we must also have work rule changes including overtime reform and the authority to better manage our workforce with an alternative to just layoffs.”

Nutter’s proposed $3.75 billion operating budget for fiscal year 2014 earmarks $29 million for contract disputes with three municipal unions.

“That’s a significant change in how we’re budgeting for union labor contracts, which we’re able to do because of anticipated economic savings,” budget director Rebecca Rhynhart said.

Those proposed cuts along with a package of savings identified by FTI Consulting allow the budget to contain no new tax increases, service cuts or planned employee layoffs but a $99 million increase in expenditures – $18 million for discretionary spending and the balance for employee benefits and police officer salary hikes.

“The economy is showing signs of recovery and the city of Philadelphia has also been able to capture some savings and efficiencies,” Rhynhart said.

Nutter also made a second pitch for a switch to the Actual Value initiative of property tax assessments, which was last year torpedoed by City Council members.

“At the heart of this budget is a reform that Philadelphia property owners have been denied for decades,” he said.

“This city has operated under a broken property assessment system that no one could  understand and for too long it has hurt countless taxpayers.”

The overhaul is not expected to net any more revenue than it did last year.

“One of the pledges the mayor made through AVI was to collect the same amount in 2013 and 2014,” finance director Rob Dubow said.

“I think one of the lessons learned last year is when you try to do other things, it gets muddied. This is about reforming property taxes, not collecting additional revenue.”

 

No love for labor

 

Nutter’s proposed operating budget for fiscal year 2014 earmarks $29 million for contract disputes with municipal unions D.C. 33, D.C. 47 and Local 22, but anticipates that they’ll agree to work rule concessions, as well.

“The money is for awards that have the reforms we’re looking for and those are in pensions, furloughs and overtime,” Rhynhart said. “That’s very important for the mayor and this administration.”

The budget does not include funds for retroactive wage increases for firefighters union Local 22 because the administration plans to emerge victorious from the current court battle over their now-expired contract, according to Dubow.

Employees represented by those three unions have been working under expired contracts and without wage or benefit increases for four to five years.

 

AVI

 

The administration along with the budget released more information about their desired switch to the Actual Value Initiative of property tax assessments.

Nutter is proposing to set the tax rate at 1.3204 percent in order to collect the same amount of property tax revenue as last fiscal year, which amounts to $1.2 billion.

He’s hoping to allocate 54 percent of that revenue to the embattled School District.

Dubow said the exact amounts by which residents’ property tax bills will rise or fall depend on the relief measures arrived at by City Council, which will next week launch a series of budget hearings.

The administration is proposing a $15,000 homestead exemption and $30 million in relief measures for longtime owner-occupants, low income households and property owners whose taxes are raised by a certain percentage.

 

Budget breakdown

 

Mayor Michael Nutter’s proposed fiscal year 2014 operating budget totals $3.75 billion

>> That’s a $99 million increase in estimated spending – or 2.7% rise – over the budget for FY13.

>> $65 million of that increase is slated to go toward rising municipal employee pensions, health insurance and debt service costs.

>> $20 million of the increase is for salary increases awarded to the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 5.

>> $18 million of the increase is earmarked for discretionary spending, including $1 million to extend Free Library hours and $3 million to create a citywide bike share program.

>> $26 million of the FY14 budget is being set aside as a fund balance for future labor union contracts related to AFSCME D.C. 33 and D.C. 47 and IAFF Local 22.

>> A total of $84 million is set aside in the city’s five-year plan to pay future labor contracts.

As far as AVI, the administration is proposing:

>> A 1.3204% tax rate on Philadelphia real estate.

>> A .92% use and occupancy tax rate.

>> $15 million homestead exemption.

>> $30 million in relief measures for low income households, longtime owner-occupied properties and for those whose property taxes have risen dramatically.

>> $20 million of that will be targeted at residential properties.

>> $10 million of that will be targeted at small commercial properties. The city intends to seek grant money for those funds.

Nutter’s proposed Fiscal Year 2014 capital budget totals $117 million.

>> That’s $1 million less than the Fiscal Year 2013 capital budget, a .8 % decrease.

>> $26 million is slated to go toward capital improvements and core infrastructure, including the hiring of police, fire and street maintenance.

>> $16 million of that will come from funding dedicated to projects that was never spent.

>> $10 million of that the city will seek to borrow from PICA.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Interfaith leaders denounce anti-Muslim harassment in Brooklyn

Community leaders of all faiths gathered in Brooklyn on Tuesday to push back on what they described as hateful acts against the local Muslim community.

National

Parched Texas town turns to sewage water to…

By Marice RichterDALLAS (Reuters) - When the going got tough due one of with worst droughts in a century, the parched Texas city of Wichita…

International

NYPD: Robber makes elderly man drive to Queens…

A robber grabbed an elderly man's neck outside a Queens supermarket, stole his wallet and made him drive to ATMs for withdrawals last week, police said.

Local

Tattooed, bearded suspect sought in Williamsburg bike theft:…

The suspected thief faces grand larceny charges after investigators said he entered the building on North 5th Street in Williamsburg.

Television

'Face Off' contestant David 'DOC' O'Connell sounds off…

David "DOC" O'Connell tells us about getting cast on Season 7 of Syfy's "Face Off," premiering tonight at 9.

Arts

PHOTO: Wildlife photographer Marc Mol captures amazing aerial…

This aerial image was taken by photographer Marc Mol who spotted the animals during an air safari in Zambia.

Arts

Theater: “Love and Human Remains” is like a…

"Love and Human Remains" is the worst show we've ever not walked out of.

Movies

Review: 'A Most Wanted Man' works better when…

In one of his last roles, Philip Seymour Hoffman headlines the John Le Carre adaptation of "A Most Wanted Man," about the pursuit of a Chechen refugee.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead…

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead pack

NFL

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will…

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will win Super Bowl?

NFL

5 players to watch at Giants training camp

Metro takes a look at five players who will be on everyone’s mind when Giants training camp gets underway.

NFL

'Vicktory dogs' travel road to rehabilitation seven years…

Of the dozens of dogs groomed by Bad Newz Kennels, 48 were rescued and 22 of the pit bull terriers have emerged at Best Friends Animal Society.

Home

5 New Ikea products that will change your…

We round-up the latest must-have products.

Food

Recipe: Wolfgang Puck's Buttermilk French Toast

We recently spent some time chatting with restauranteur/celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck at his Wolfgang Puck American Grille in the Borgata in Atlantic City. Puck wanted…

Style

Go retro with your sneakers

The best of wacky new sneakers.

Parenting

Buy gently worn back-to-school clothes with Kidizen

Kidizen allows parents to buy and sell gently worn back-to-school clothes.