Mayor Kenney announces 4.2 percent increase in budget plan

Mayor Jim Kenney.
Charles Mostoller

Mayor Jim Kenney announces a $5.2 billion budget plan proposal for the city.

The proposed budget is a 4.2 percent increase over the city’s original budget for this year, according to Inquirer.com.

It was reported that Mayor’s proposal will include $45 million for the School District of Philadelphia, $10.5 million for street sweeping, $18.3 million for the Community College of Philadelphia, and more.

Additionally, the budget will include a six-year capital program for infrastructure projects. These projects will include $60 million for Penn’s Landing improvements, $240 million for street paving, the capping of I-95 to make a public space, $50 million to transform FDR Park, and $16 million for improvements to the Philadelphia Zoo.

Kenney’s proposed budget plan calls for small cuts to wage and business taxes, but no tax rate increases. The city is expecting to collect more money this year due to population growth.

Inquirer.com reported Kenney’s proposal would be a 29 percent jump in city spending since Kenney took office in 2016. This increase will be driven by an increased amount of city workers.

It has been reported that Philly has the highest-in-the-county wage tax in big cities due to the 2008 financial crisis and handles the city’s issues of gun violence and poverty.

The administration is also preparing for an economic downturn. The proposed budget leaves $316 million unspent, or 6 percent of overall city spending. It was reported that most national municipal budgets set aside 17 percent.

Another part of the proposed budget is that it will include funding for all library branches to be opened six days a week, for the first time. The budget will also get rid of the fees charged to inmates.

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