Philly mayor's 'doomsday budget' questioned

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - September 10, 2009

City Controller Alan Butkovitz wrote to the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority, which must approve the budget, about his concerns.

Among other things, Butkovitz wrote in Wednesday's four-page letter that the mayor's plan would cut off all funding for courts. Butkovitz says a state Supreme Court order telling the state to pay for court costs 22 years ago has never been enforced and the city can't simply shut the courts down.

Mayoral spokesman Doug Oliver says without key budget approvals from the state Legislature, the city won't have the money to pay for the courts anyway. The city has asked the state to approve a temporary sales tax increase in Philadelphia and allow changes to how the city makes its pension payments.

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