This week in the news, we find the School District again making news by asking for more money. This time it was Superintendent William Hite Jr. asking the city for $104 million of more than $300 million he says the district needs to replace cuts made in past years.
Mayor Michael Nutter had proposed a 9 percent property tax increase which we covered in DAILY DOSE two weeks ago. According to reports in the Inquirer this morning, City Council is not terribly interested in adopting Nutter’s tax hike.
Council candidate Helen Gym, a schools advocate who won one of five slots to run as a Democrat for City Council at Large, urged Council to consider funding the school’s $104 million request with a balanced tax option.
Her plan calls for raising $42.5 million in a Use and Occupancy tax hike, 7.5 million in new parking lot taxes, $10 in a PILOT (Payment in lieu of tax) program with some of the city’s largest non profit organizations and a more modest property tax increase of $45 million.
“One of the reasons the city finds itself in trouble with school funding every year is because too often we rely on unsustainable solutions that don’t offer stability for proper budgetary planning,” Gym said in a release. “My plan lays out four areas where City Council can raise the resources necessary to meet the Superintendent’s request for $105 million in local funding, and does so through stable and recurring sources of revenue.”
Council president Darryl Clark has said he expects council will have a solution by the end of June.