Phila. Among Few Big Cities Entertaining Tax Hikes

Publication: Philadelphia Inquirer

Author: Marcia Gelbart

05/19/2009 - Few major U.S. cities are trying to raise taxes to close budget shortfalls amid the economic downturn, according to a report issued yesterday.

Of 13 cities studied, just four - including Philadelphia - have proposed or enacted tax increases as a way of generating revenue and preserving services and jobs.

The study, from The Pew Charitable Trusts' Philadelphia Research Initiative, also found that Philadelphia falls somewhere in the middle in the size of its projected budget gap for next year, with a $428 million shortfall representing about 11 percent of its $3.8 billion budget.

Seattle was in the best fiscal shape of the cities studied, with a deficit amounting to 5 percent of the budget, while Detroit faces the toughest times, with a 20 percent shortfall.

Pittsburgh stood alone in having a small surplus, largely because of a government overhaul five years ago as a result of a previous financial crisis.

Read the full article Phila. Among Few Big Cities Entertaining Tax Hikes on the Philadelphia Inquirer's Web site.

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