Controller: Employment on the rise, but city finances still strained

The city unemployment rate has declined for the fourth consecutive month, according to City Controller Alan Butkovtiz’s monthly economic report released today. The rate is currently at 10.1 percent, with 700 more wholesale and retail jobs in December than in the previous month.

However, the City’s financial future looks less encouraging. Philadelphia general fund tax revenues are $31.6 million below initial projections for the first half of the fiscal year 2012, the report says.

The city collected $10.3 million less than expected in wage, earning and net profits taxes, $7.7 million less in business privilege taxes, $7 million less in real estate taxes, $4.9 million less in realty transfer taxes and $3.3 million less than expected in other taxes.

The only tax revenue that topped the budget projection was sales tax, which totaled $122.9 million, $1.6 million more than expected.

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