Mayor Nutter Delivers Budget Address

Fiscal Year 2013 Budget and Fiscal Years 2013 – 2017 Five Year Plan introduced to City Council

Mayor Michael A. Nutter delivered his proposed Fiscal Year 2013 (FY13) Budget and Fiscal Year 2013- 2017 Five-Year Plan in his annual budget address to City Council. The Mayor’s proposed budget of approximately $3.6 billion includes significant new investments as well as making modest budget cuts. The City has seen some growth in tax receipts over the last year as the global economy continues to slowly improve.

“Today I am presenting a budget and Five Year Plan that rebuilds and remakes Philadelphia for the 21st century,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter. “It’s a plan that tackles the challenges of the present and makes investments in our future, plan that puts money back in the pockets of all Philadelphia, makes critical investments in neighborhoods throughout our city, and continues to innovate and rethink how City government is operated in order to improve the lives of all Philadelphians.”

Some of the Mayor’s FY13 spending proposals include:

A commitment of $4.1 million to hire close to 400 new police officers by the end of FY13 and—while accounting for the effects of attrition—to maintain a strength of 6,500 uniformed officers on the police force over the course of the Five Year Plan.
$9.0 million for the design of a new police headquarters, city morgue and health offices co-located at 4601 Market Street. This will be the City’s first new police headquarters in 50 years.
To increase funding to $6.7 million in FY13 for improvements to six police stations and 11 fire houses.
A $20 million investment over two years for the design and redevelopment of Love Park. This project will create an accessible green space connecting the redeveloped Dilworth Plaza with the revitalized Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
$1.5 million budgeted for three years for neighborhood library branch capital investments, the Neighborhood Library Improvement Program, which will be leveraged to attract additional private investment.
The City will join a partnership with Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to build a brand new, multi-million dollar health center in South Philadelphia. The partnership will save taxpayers from the cost of a $7 million renovation or $10 million rebuild of Health Center 2.
$1.1 million increase in funding to the Office of Property Assessment to assist with their overhaul of the property assessment system scheduled to be completed in fall 2012.
For the first time, the City will create a Traffics Operations Center and Streets Department engineers will begin to monitor many of the City’s key travel corridors and modify traffic signal timing plans to respond to real time traffic conditions.

During the last three years, the City closed a $2.4 billion gap in its Five Year Plan, eliminated 1,600 positions through attrition, and reduced spending by creating efficiencies. The FY12 budget, following multiple years of difficult budget cuts, included $9.5 million in mid-year additional cuts. In contrast, the FY13 budget cuts only $2.2 million in departmental spending.

The Mayor added, “This is what a 21st century city government in a 21st century city looks like—smaller, smarter, more efficient and focused on the fundamentals. A government that makes investments in its citizens and neighborhoods, ever focused on ensuring that we have a safer city, a smarter city, a city that continues to attract visitors, residents, businesses and jobs from all over the world.”

Despite increased investments, the City still faces three key challenges to maintain growth. The School District of Philadelphia is facing a $26 million gap to close this fiscal year and an anticipated deficit of between $150 million to $400 million to close in the next fiscal year. The City also is facing severe cuts from the state to social service programs, which reduce the City’s ability to shelter its homeless persons and to provide treatment to citizens with mental health issues or intellectual disabilities. Finally, the City is faced increased costs of its employee benefit system. In less than 10 years, pension costs have increased from around $200 million to more than $550 million.

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