After three budgets that included proposals like
double-digit tax hikes, a “soda tax,” library shutdowns and trash collection
fees, Mayor Michael Nutter today introduced a fee-free budget for the first
time in his tenure.
Wonder if he knows it’s an election year. (Not like he has
much to worry about, other than a far-fetched challenged by a man named
Street. That isn’t completely
surprising. Mayor Nutter has seemingly always had one Street or the other
playing his political foil.)
In what his spokesman has called a “hold the line” budget,
Nutter announced no new tax increases in the 2011 budget.
“To balance our
budget we will not ask for more revenue from our citizens,” Nutter said inside
a crowded City Council chamber. “We’ll continue to cut spending – an additional
$14 million over the next five years on top of the more than $1 billion in the
This could all change in a blink of an eye, as Nutter
Gov. Tom Corbett will take his turn at the podium next week
in Harrisburg when he unveils the 2011 state budget and how he’ll close a
roughly $4 billion hole between last year’s spending levels and this year’s
It may mean hundreds of millions in cuts to Philadelphia’s
share of the state pie.
“We now need to
be ready to fight drastic, across the board cuts that will reverse gains made
in education, hurt the most vulnerable people in our city, and negatively
impact our ability to attract businesses and create jobs,” Nutter said.