Philadelphia, June 18, 2013 – Council President Darrell L. Clarke on Tuesday announced that City Council was prepared to exceed the School District of Philadelphia’s request for $60 million in emergency funding.
“City Council has passed legislation that raises taxes on tobacco in the City of Philadelphia,” Council President Clarke said. “Combined with improvement in tax collections projected by the Administration, we expect to deliver $74.4 million in new funding to our schools.”
The Fiscal Year 2014 budget expected to be approved by City Council on Thursday, June 20, 2013, appropriates more than $1 billion in total tax revenue to the School District of Philadelphia.
“Further, the Administration projects the new tobacco tax will raise nearly $90 million dollars in Fiscal Year 2015,” Council President Clarke said.
The new budget represents the third consecutive year of emergency funding requests from the School District of Philadelphia, which in March announced a deficit of more than $300 million. In Fiscal Year 2013, City Council raised taxes by $42.5 million for the School District over the previous fiscal year. In Fiscal Year 2012, City Council raised taxes by $82.5 million over the previous fiscal year.
“Currently, 55 percent of City property taxes goes to the School District of Philadelphia, which has been under state control for more than a decade. And 45 percent of revenues raised from property taxes goes to City services and functions, including public safety,” Council President Clarke said. “Meanwhile, City Council continues to have zero representation on the School Reform Commission. I anticipate meaningful discussions on this matter.”
Council President Clarke concluded: “I would like to thank the members of the Philadelphia Delegation in Harrisburg who fight passionately for our City’s schools. Council looks forward to a continued strong working relationship with the Philadelphia Delegation to address the challenges faced by the City of Philadelphia.”