City Council has just one month to hammer out its version of the $3.9 billion budget. The decisions that Council and the mayor will make in the days ahead will determine the kind of city we live and work in far into the future. The Committee of Seventy is starting a special series of our “IN THE KNOW” feature to help Philadelphians understand the issues, the politics, and the consequences of this year’s budget process, the third year in a row with the city facing a major budget deficit. We’ll look behind the seemingly dry facts and figures of the budget to help those that live and work in the city understand how and why their tax money is being spent. Read More...
On May 18, 2010, the voters of Philadelphia overwhelmingly decided to abolish the Board of Revision of Taxes, the dysfunctional agency that had done property value assessments in the city for more than a century. The Committee of Seventy strongly supported this change to the City Charter. Below is our pre-election report on how the BRT became such a mess and what the replacement system will look like. Read More...

Filed under: how philly works

During these lean times, most of us are figuring out what to cut from the family budget and ways to put a little more in the piggy bank. Imagine making these choices when nearly 60% of what has to go out the door is still a question mark. That’s what Philadelphia is now facing. As of publication, contracts for three of the City's biggest unions on issues including employees’ wages and benefits – which make up almost 60% of the general operating budget – are still unresolved. This Q&A explores strong connection between labor costs and the budget.  Read More...
On March 4, 2010, Mayor Michael Nutter will make his Annual Budget Address to the city. Between now and the July 1 start of Fiscal Year 2011, Mayor Nutter and City Council will have tough decisions to make. This In The Know is the first installment in a series that will highlight issues that will surface during the budget discussions. Read More...
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