Kenney unveils $5.2B budget proposal with some initiatives but no new taxes

Pat Loeb
March 05, 2020 - 4:00 am

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney is expected to propose a $5.2 billion budget to City Council Thursday. That's an increase of $118 million over last year, and the budget calls for no new taxes. 

The largest proposed increase is an additional $45 million in the city's contribution to the school district budget. Another big ticket item is a new program called RentAssist, which budget director Marissa Waxman says is part of the city's anti-poverty effort.

"This is a program that is going to prevent eviction is really what it's trying to do and keep housing affordable in Philadelphia," Waxman said.

There's also $10 million proposed for expanding street sweeping, $10 million for a city-funded college scholarship and $10 million to help the city commissioners handle what is expected to be a very high turn-out presidential election governed by new rules from the state.

"We also have continuing commitments in this plan to other initiatives and strategies, so there's funding for anti-violence, combating the opioid epidemic as well as moving library service to six days a week all year," Waxman added.

The budget proposes $3 million to fight the opioid epidemic. Though none of that money would go to a safe injection site, opponents — still angry about a since-scuttled plan to open one in South Philadelphia  are expected to protest at the address.

All this will happen with no new taxes. In fact, she says there will be $200 million in cuts in wage and business taxes.