On April 15, Mayor Kenney presented his budget proposal to City Council. Mayor Kenney largely used the $1.4 billion from the American Rescue Plan to fill in revenue shortfalls. Throughout his address, he stated that he would like to prioritize equitable economic recovery, police reform, and public safety investments in this year’s budget. The proposed budget has $5.22 billion in revenue and $5.18 billion in expenses, which leaves a $109 million projected fund balance. Below are some highlights of the budget proposal:
- Tax Reductions: There are no tax or fee increases. The parking tax would return to pre-pandemic levels, and both the resident and non-resident wage tax would be reduced.
- Infrastructure Investments: This plan allocates $132.2 million in street paving and reconstructing Americans with Disabilities Act compliant ramps.
- Education: The five year plan calls for the Community College of Philadelphia to receive about $250 million, with $54 million going towards the Octavius Catto Scholarship. In addition, the city will provide $1.3 billion of funding to the School District of Philadelphia.
- Economic Revitalization: $3 million would be dedicated to the Office of Workforce Development and $300,000 for storefront improvement and security grants.
- Public Safety: The mayor’s proposal would invest $7.2 million in expanding behavioral health mobile crisis, $1.9 million to establish the Citizen Police Oversight Commission (including prior PAC funds), $1.35 million in community improvements, and $1.3 million to expand violence interruption programs.
- Housing: $12.9 million would be dedicated to shelter beds.
- Long-Term Investments: $50 million would go toward FDR Park Master Plan Improvements and $26.5 million will go toward Neighborhood Commercial Centers.
Budget hearings will begin May 3, and Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies will closely monitor them. City Council and the Kenney administration will negotiate over this proposal for the next two months. Councilmembers will likely advocate for additional funding for their respective priorities and debate the merits of changes to the tax code. The last scheduled City Council meeting for the spring session is on June 24, and a budget deal must be reached by June 30. To review official documents relating to the proposed budget, click here.