These principles were used in making the decisions below:
- There were no police or fire layoffs, no reduction in emergency medical services and all fire stations remained open
- All health centers, after school and summer programming for children, and all emergency, transitional and permanent supportive housing were preserved
- All 172 recreation centers remained open
- Weekly residential trash collection and single-stream recycling continued
- Measures to improve government performance and save money continued, including PhillyStat and 311
The Administration identified ways to produce quality services at a lower cost. A conservative estimate of efficiencies identified total $39 million annually. Below are few examples of programs and government services that could maintain or increase their activities with fewer resources:
- Streets Department — electricity efficiencies and reductions $1M
- Decommissioning of fire companies to reduce overtime by $10.5M
- Division of Technology — IT Consolidation $850,000
- Reduction in overtime citywide $18.5M
- Enhanced delinquent taxpayer collections $8.2M
- Increased Fines and Fees $4.8M
- All tax cuts for FY09 were maintained
- Wage tax reductions funded by state gaming revenues will continue, reducing wage tax rates to 3.7974% for residents and 3.3546% for nonresidents by FY15.
- City-funded tax cuts suspended until FY15, increasing projected revenues by $230M
- Cultural Fund was only allocated an increase of $1M rather than $2M in FY09
- A $15M increase to the Housing Trust Fund over the Five-Year Plan has been reduced by half
- Planned $4M increase to the Community College of Philadelphia in FY09 was reduced to $2M
- Funding increase for Fairmount Park was delayed, with plans to fully reinstate that increase beginning in FY11
- Small reduction to the funding increase for YVRP
- Elimination of the Adolescent Violence Reduction Partnership (AVRP)
- Elimination of limited residential street cleaning, snow removal on smaller streets, and dedicated leaf, bulk and tire collections
- Reduced funding for libraries and pools
As part of the November 2008 rebalancing plan, the Administration proposed and City Council approved legislation suspending planned City funded rate reductions for Business Privilege and Wage taxes in order to generate needed revenues during this period of economic turmoil. This action was taken in November 2008 and equates to almost $230 million in projected increased revenues to the General Fund over FY09-FY13.
The BPT cuts scheduled for the FY10 to FY14 Plan will be kept at FY09 rates as the City adjusts to the current economic crisis. The planned schedule to phase out the Gross Receipts portion and reduce the Net Income portion of the Business Privilege Tax is slated to resume in FY15.
The chart shows the wage tax reductions for both residents and non-residents, as well as the changes to the scheduled tax rates.
One of Mayor Nutter’s key priorities is a commitment to public participation. In 2008 and 2009, the City participated in three sets of workshops and meetings, to engage residents in the Administration’s priorities and seek public feedback on decisions.
Following a brief presentation on the budget and new performance management and customer service initiatives, participants broke into small-group discussions. Each group focused on one of five results:
- Public Safety,
- Jobs & Economic Development,
- Healthy and Sustainable Communities, and Ethics.
- The final result, Customer Service, was integrated into every discussion.
The Administration used the information and priorities communicated during the forum for future development and refinement of its priorities, performance measures, and customer service standards. For more information, please see www.greatexpectationsnow.com.