Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24) is underway in the City of Philadelphia, with a wide array of new investments and initiatives to move the City forward and better serve Philadelphia residents.
The Fiscal Year 2024 Budget continues to invest in public safety, thriving neighborhoods, inclusive economic growth, and education. This budget provides critical investments across the city while protecting ongoing fiscal stability and continuing to relieve the tax burden on residents and businesses. The FY24 Budget also adds funding for targeted recruitment and retention investments, including hiring bonuses for public safety and other hard-to-fill positions; dedicated funding for Police recruitment; and an expansion of the City’s parental leave benefit from four weeks to six weeks.
Here’s what you need to know about this year’s budget:
Keeping residents safe
Reducing violence and keeping Philadelphians safe is the City’s highest priority. This year’s budget puts an emphasis on crime reduction and violence prevention investments — including long-term investments like education — to create a safer Philadelphia for all.
Between existing, new, and expanded programs proposed by the Administration in its initial FY24 Proposed Budget, as well as additional resources added after discussions with City Council, more than $233 million is being invested to reduce and prevent violence.
These investments include $14.7 million in funding for Forensics operations, with increases in civilian forensic staff positions, and $9.2 million for Operation Pinpoint analytical work over the next five years that will decrease violent incidents in the neighborhoods of Philadelphia experiencing the highest crime rates. Additionally, Capital funds, including $22.5 million for a new forensic lab and $9.8 million for renovations to existing police facilities around the city are being invested.
Not included in the $233 million are the City’s significant educational and anti-poverty investments, nor the City’s traditional economic development activities, and the Police Department continues to have the largest General Fund budget of any City department, with $856 million in FY24. With those efforts added, the City’s commitment to anti-violence totals additional hundreds of millions each year.
Investing in quality education
Education, from preschool through college, remains critical for improving the lives and opportunities of Philadelphia residents. This year’s Plan recommits to and further expands the City’s investments in education.
PHLpreK will add 950 new slots (bringing the total up to 5,250 this school year), and services at Community Schools will expand to include trauma supports and additional evaluation measures.
The FY24 Budget also includes $51 million to the Community College of Philadelphia, with $11.7 million dedicated to the Octavius Catto Scholarship. This initiative enables students to attend college tuition-free, receive stipends for basic needs, and benefit from enhanced staff supports to help them succeed.
The Five Year Plan continues to invest in teachers and students with $282 million in funding for the School District of Philadelphia, more than doubling the City’s contribution to the District from before Mayor Kenney took office. This is in addition to what the District receives in local tax revenue.
Driving inclusive economic growth and economic opportunity
The FY24 Budget preserves and builds upon the City’s commitments to growth and inclusivity by further lowering Business and Wage Taxes, which are now at their lowest rates in decades. With careful fiscal planning, the City has been able to continue incremental tax reductions while also prioritizing the City’s long-term financial health.
In addition to adding $3 million to grow the Taking Care of Business commercial corridors program, the FY24 Budget includes funding for 13 additional city planning staff and $109.6 million in SEPTA support. Additionally, the City is providing $31 million to subsidize free transit for Philadelphia residents at or near the poverty level and $9 million per year to provide SEPTA passes to City employees. The City is also providing $5.7 million in FY24 capital funding for SEPTA and anticipates leveraging up to $396 million in grant funding.
In the Capital program, the City has earmarked $6 million toward the I-95 Cap at Penn’s Landing and $5.75 million for waterfront development at the Navy Yard Quay Wall, Central Delaware, Schuylkill Trail, Lower Schuylkill, and North Delaware.
Improving the quality of life in Philadelphia neighborhoods
Over the next 5 years, the City will invest over $1.5 million in the Philadelphia Parks and Recreation inclusion plan to ensure that facilities are more accessible and welcoming to all residents. This will continue the planned investments that will make it possible for all City recreation centers to offer weekend hours. Additionally, the City is investing an additional $19.6 million over five years to stabilize and expand service levels to reach six-day service at neighborhood library branches.
The Capital Program includes $255 million over six years in street paving, reconstruction, and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) curb ramps. The City is also investing in two new health centers in historically underserved Northeast Philadelphia.
Rebuild, the Kenney Administration’s historic initiative to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in improving community facilities is also providing $40 million in funding for 13 additional library, park, or recreation center locations, with 46 site improvement projects already underway. The Adopted FY24 Capital Budget also adds $29 million over the Proposed FY24 Capital Budget for Parks and Recreation facilities and other City assets. Parks and Recreation facilities and other City assets.
The Plan also adds 100 supportive housing units and a pilot program for Sanctuary Village Tiny Homes. Additionally, the City is providing $3.7 million in FY24 and $28.9 million over five years to expand right-to-counsel to help Philadelphians stay in their homes and avoid becoming unhoused.