Mayor Kenney Gives Budget Address
Today, Mayor Kenney will outline his vision for the upcoming fiscal year’s budget, which will officially kick off budget season. His proposal does not include tax increases, but it assumes real estate tax revenue will increase 4.5 percent due to new property assessments. If the reassessments increase by more than the projected 4.5 percent, the administration has committed to working with City Council to provide relief to property owners. The mayor’s budget would only spend $335 million of the $1.4 billion from the American Rescue Plan this year. City Council will host hearings over the next few months and must approve a budget before their summer recess. Mayor Kenney must sign the approved budget before July 1.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren Joins Local Campaign for Wealth Tax
Councilmember Kendra Brooks’ proposal for a wealth tax got a boost from U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). The councilmember plans on introducing a bill that would tax direct holdings in stocks and bonds at 0.4 percent. Brooks’ proposal, however, remains a long shot.
Council Extends COVID-19 Leave Until December 2023
Philadelphia’s COVID-19 sick leave protection will now be in effect for another 20 months and will expire in December of 2023. The new law applies to businesses of 25 or more employees. For more information, read our policy alert here.
Philadelphia Launches 211 Violence Prevention Hotline
Philadelphians are now able to call 211 and speak to violence prevention-related social services, designed to give those affected by gun and other violence a place to go for resources and assistance. The program is funded by the city and run by United Way.
Council’s Police Oversight Board Inches Closer to Reality
A new police oversight commission — in the works since 2020 — is nearing reality after City Council announced the nomination of members and hired staff to assist them. The new board will play a more prominent role in overseeing the police than previous boards.
Restaurant Industry Opposes Outdoor Dining Regulations
One of the state’s largest hospitality industry groups says it opposes certain elements of the new outdoor dining regulations created by the Kenney administration. Some of the industry’s proposed changes include an elimination of the $60,000 bond requirement for streeteries, as well as more clear regulations on the design of the streeteries.
City Launches “Do No Solicit” List to Protect Against Predatory Homebuyers
Philadelphia is the first major city in the nation to establish a “do not solicit” list, designed to protect homeowners from receiving unsolicited offers to buy their homes, which can come as physical mail, calls, and texts. Any residential property owner is eligible to enroll free of charge.
Elected Officials Say Strong Action Against Illegal Dumping Is Needed
As neighborhoods across the city report major issues with illegal dumping, elected officials say they will propose taking real action to make a dent in the issue. Among those proposals include beefing up the police’s environmental crimes unit and higher penalties for illegal dumping.
More Federal Aid Coming to Assist in Hurricane Ida Relief
The federal government is sending over $100 million in relief aid to Philadelphia and Pennsylvania, designed to help the hardest hit from the fall 2021 storm who are still recovering. Approximately 85 families are still displaced from the storm, which killed several people and caused millions in physical damages.
Philadelphia City Council holds several hearings throughout the legislative calendar. You can watch the hearings here.
On Friday, April 8, at 10:00 a.m., the Committee on Streets will review zoning proposals for streeteries.
On Monday, April 11, at 10:00 a.m., the Committee on Licenses and Inspections will review licensing and regulation changes on demolitions and fire suppression.
On Monday, April 11, at 1:00 p.m., the Committee on Commerce & Economic Development will review the “keep it local” purchasing bill.