Mar 15, 2024 - News

Mayor Cherelle Parker unveils $6.3 billion budget

Photo illustration of Cherelle Parker with lines radiating from her.

Photo illustration: Axios Visuals. Photo: Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images.

Mayor Cherelle Parker unveiled a nearly $6.3 billion budget proposal yesterday that imposes no new taxes while focusing on public safety and city cleanup efforts.

Why it matters: As the first woman to lead Philly, her inaugural budget address marks a milestone and lays out the priorities and direction of her new administration.

Driving the news: Parker pitched her "big and … bold" budget before the City Council, proposing hiking police spending, creating year-round schooling, and deploying new crews to remove illegal dumping.

  • Spending would increase by 1.5% over last year under the plan amid projected rising revenue and use of the remaining $449 million in federal pandemic funding.

What she's saying: "[Residents] want to see their tax dollars at work in their neighborhoods," Parker said during her impassioned address. "They want to see us do things differently."

Between the lines: Taxes are still expected to rise for many property owners.

  • That's because the Parker administration is resuming property reassessments, which were skipped last year. New assessments are typically out in April and May.

Budget highlights

Crime: The mayor's plan would invest $33 million in new funding for public safety while the police department's budget would rise 2.5%.

  • The proposal would fund millions in tech upgrades for police, including patrol cars, drones and surveillance cameras while seeking to increase police recruitment.

Education: Parker says a plan for "full-day and year-round schooling" is expected to launch at 20 schools in the fall.

  • The mayor also includes funding to create what she's calling a "city college for municipal employment" at the Community College of Philadelphia.

Quality of life issues: The budget would fund a new residential cleaning program, new trash compactors, surveillance cameras to crack down on illegal dumping and 1,500 BigBelly trash cans.

🚨 Threat level: Parker said the city faces several fiscal challenges in the coming years, including lower revenues from some business taxes, the loss of federal pandemic funding and paying off debt.

  • Philly also struggles with long-term problems like poverty and aging infrastructure.

What's next: City legislators will begin weeks of budget hearings. They must pass a budget by July 1.

What we're watching: The Parker administration is working on a new anti-violence plan and how to address the open-air drug markets in Kensington.

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