Budget ax falls in Philly today

PHILADELPHIA - November 6, 2008

Nutter will make the announcement live from our Channel 6 studios. You can watch the mayor's address during Action News at noon. We will also stream it live on 6abc.com.

Mayor Michael Nutter met with city council members Wednesday night to warn them of his proposed budget cuts. A source who was at the meeting tells us that, under Nutter's proposed cuts:

  • 20 percent of city libraries would close
  • a significant number of city swimming pools would close
  • there would be significant staff reductions to city staff
  • there would be cut-backs to overtime, including the police and fire departments
  • engine companies would be eliminated at certain fire houses, but no fire houses would be closed
  • all scheduled tax cuts would be frozen until 2015, including any cuts to the city wage tax and the business privilege tax
According to the source, Mayor Nutter also says the budget shortfall over the next five years has grown from $850 million, to $1 billion. The source adds that council members were in utter shock when the mayor delivered the news during the meeting.

A drop in tax revenues and pension fund losses are the biggest factors.

The mayor has ordered department heads to cut their budgets, and asked elected officials, including city council and the courts, to cut their spending as well.

Nutter's spokesman Doug Oliver has confirmed with Action News that there are service cuts, facility closures and staff reductions in the city of Philadelphia. Libraries, recreation centers and some firehouses could see cuts.

Mayor Nutter will arrive at Channel 6 at 11 a.m., will deliver address at 12:10pm, and will return to City Hall for a news conference at 12:45pm.

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