Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney unveils 2022 proposed budget

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney laid out his proposal for the city's fiscal year 2022 budget during a city council meeting on Thursday.

Much of the proposal is based around the $1.4 billion in Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Funds from the Biden Administration's American Rescue Plan.

Kenney says that federal money will prevent massive cuts.

His plan calls for wage tax reductions, after school programs, money for policing reforms and efforts to reduce violence among other things.

Financially, the pandemic left Philadelphia in ruins. Officials were struggling to make up for a $450 million budget hole and a total loss of $1.5 billion in the next five years.

"It would have been a devastating budget without the federal money," said city Finance Director Rob Dubow. "We would have had to do really painful things."

Residents saw a preview of this after the pandemic slashed staffing levels and closed public buildings.

"It seemed like we weren't taking care of the streets as much, the trash was like piling up," said resident Destiny Jean-Michel of North Philadelphia.

And there's some welcome news for drivers: the city is taking that stimulus money and repaving 115 miles of road in an attempt to beautify the city and revive the economy.

"I'm tired of my car getting in all the potholes, tearing my tires up, we definitely need that ASAP," said resident Rahsaan Ford of Germantown.
And to address the violence plaguing the city, the budget proposes allocating $2.6 million for violence intervention and $13 million for 911 co-responder and mobile crisis units.

"It impacts me quite a lot because all you hear is gunshots right now and ambulances and fire engines and it keeps you up at night," said resident Daymond Floyd of Southwest Philadelphia.

"We are hoping that our significant investments in anti-violence programs whether that be for violence intervention or some of the neighborhood based interventions are things that people see and feel fairly quickly," said Budget Director Marisa Waxman.

As for the city's police department, the mayor has proposed keeping funding at the same level as the current fiscal year.
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