Details on the Mayor’s budget proposal, Proposal to protect renters; Funding for the School District; Land-value taxation 

April 23, 2021

CITY HALL

Details on the Mayor’s Budget

Last week, Mayor Kenney formally introduced his budget to City Council. His proposed budget includes:

  • Business and wage tax reductions
  • Significant investments in street paving
  • Additional resources for public safety initiatives

Public Strategies provides more detailed analysis of the budget proposal here. Several Councilmembers have expressed the desire to do more — a few have stated that more resources should be dedicated to anti-violence measures. Some believe that there should have been no tax reductions in the budget, while others such as Councilmember Domb believe that there should be bigger tax cuts. Budget hearings will begin May 3, and you can review the budget hearing calendar here. City Council and the Kenney administration will negotiate over these proposals for the next two months, and a budget deal must be reached by June 30. Reach out to a member of the Public Strategies team to learn more and engage in the appropriations process.

Additional Protections for Prospective Renters

Last week, Councilmember Brooks introduced two bills that would significantly limit landlords’ ability to screen and deny tenants based on their credit scores, lack of payments during the COVID-19 pandemic, or eviction records that are more than two years old. A bill would also require landlords to disclose their screening criteria. During her campaign for City Council, Councilmember Brooks emphasized that protections for renters would be a cornerstone of her policy agenda. The two bills have been referred to committee, but a hearing has not been scheduled yet.

Housing and the American Rescue Plan

Last week, Councilmember Gauthier introduced a resolution that would authorize the Committee on Housing, Neighborhood Development, and the Homeless to have hearings to examine how the city addresses housing issues with allocations from the American Rescue Plan. Philadelphia received $42 million from the federal government to address homelessness and affordable housing assistance. A hearing has not been scheduled. 

Upcoming Hearings

Several committee hearings will take place over the next few weeks as City Council anticipates the beginning of budget hearings in less than two weeks.

School District of Philadelphia and the American Rescue Plan

On Wednesday, April 28, the Committee on Education will have a hearing regarding how the School district of Philadelphia will equitably allocate the $1.3 billion it received from the federal government through the American Rescue Plan. Councilmember Quiñones Sánchez is hosting the hearing. As chair of the Committee on Education, she has made summer programming for children a priority. You can stream the hearing live here.

Land Value Taxation

On Friday, April 30, Councilmember Green will host a hearing on his resolution that would discuss land-value taxation and its potential implications for Philadelphia. Several councilmembers have discussed the need for examining Philadelphia’s current tax structure and determining if it needs an overhaul. Supporters of land-value taxation believe it is more equitable way to tax real estate. A change in the tax structure would have significant repercussions across the city — especially for the real estate industry. You can stream the hearing live here


Authors

Joseph Hill

Senior Principal, Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies

jhill@cozen.com

(215) 665-2065

Brianna A. Westbrooks

Policy Adviser, Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies

bwestbrooks@cozen.com

(215) 665-4757

Beth A. Brennan

Principal, Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies

bbrennan@cozen.com

(717) 773-4213

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