05/20/2009 - A new report comparing Philadelphia's response to its budget crisis with that of other cities makes you wonder why Mayor Nutter isn't being tougher about cutting spending.
The Pew Charitable Trusts' Philadelphia Research Initiative studied 13 cities, from Boston to Los Angeles, to examine how they're coping with huge budget gaps. Their problems are similar. The recession has reduced their tax revenue, while the stock market's plunge is forcing them to contribute more to pension funds.
Yet only four cities—Philadelphia, New York, Atlanta, and Columbus, Ohio—are proposing increases in major taxes.
Only New York is proposing increases in two major taxes—sales and property. Philadelphia would have been in this category, but Nutter abandoned plans for combined increases in the sales and property taxes in favor of City Council's proposal for a five-year hike only in the sales tax.
Read the full editorial Stronger Medicine on the Philadelphia Inquirer's Web site.