In Council News, Featured by Khara Garcia

Council and Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle Parker collaborated to make significant investments in critical programs and services while maintaining the City’s long-term fiscal health and advancing equitable outcomes for all Philadelphians.

PHILADELPHIA, PA (June 13, 2024) – Philadelphia City Council members overwhelmingly approved a $6.37 Billion Fiscal Year 2025 (FY’25) Operating Budget and $5.46 FY ’25 Capital Budget for the new fiscal year which starts on July 1. Council also approved a Capital Budget covering the Fiscal Years 2025-2030.

The final FY 2025 Operating and Capital budgets, the first for both Parker as Mayor and Johnson as Council President, were the results of weeks of negotiations between Council leadership, members and Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle Parker’s administration.

“I want to thank Mayor Cherelle Parker, Council’s leadership team and all members of City Council for working together to create Operating and Capital Budgets that will move Philadelphia forward,” Council President Kenyatta Johnson said. He continued, “This is a budget that prioritizes everyday Philadelphians and that makes investments in solving our city’s most pressing issues. With the investments in this budget, Philadelphia will make significant strides toward our common goal of creating safe, healthy, and prosperous communities for all Philadelphians.”

On March 14, Mayor Parker proposed a $6.29 billion “One Philly Budget” calling for no new taxes, while proposing new targeted investments to make Philadelphia the Safest, Cleanest and Greenest Big City in America, with Economic Opportunity for All.

The FY 2025 adopted budget includes additional investments City Council members successfully advocated for. Here are some of the highlights of items added to the budget that will benefit all Philadelphians:

  • Additional money for violence prevention grants. Council added an additional $4.8 million in funding, bringing the total amount up to $29 Million.
  • Raising the City’s Homestead Exemption from the current $80,000 to $100,000. This will help thousands of people pay lower property taxes in the upcoming years. It will also provide property tax relief since the city’s property tax assessments are expected to go up next year. Eligible homeowners will save $1,400 on their property tax bill.
  • Council won support for a new low-income property tax freeze, sponsored by Councilmember Jamie Gauthier (Third District).
  • $19 million in additional funding for rental assistance. This is combined with the $15 million already in the Housing Trust Fund for a total of $34 million for rental assistance.
  • An additional $5 million in the Philadelphia Energy Authority’s Built to Last program. This will help the city with the issue of gentrification and help people fix up and stay in their homes.
  • Redevelopment of U.C. Townhomes. The city will contribute $14 million to redevelop part of the site of the U.C. Townhomes, a former affordable housing complex in West Philadelphia. The money will result in the construction of 70 permanent, affordable units.
  • $750,000 in additional funding for tangled title support in the Register of Wills.
  • Recreation Centers and libraries get funding for upgrades. Council negotiated with the Parker Administration to borrow an additional $18 million in the Capital Budget for upgrades to recreation centers and libraries throughout the city.
  • An additional $5 million in operating support for the Community College of Philadelphia.
  • Additional investment in the Mann Center and the Dell Music Center. The budget includes $1 million each for the Mann Center for the Performing Arts and the Dell Music Center, double the investment Mayor Parker had initially proposed.
  • Expanded paid parental leave for city employees — $7 million in funding to support parents who work for the City of Philadelphia, spearheaded by Majority Leader Katherine Gilmore Richardson (At-Large).
  • Mural Arts Philadelphia funding is restored — Mayor Parker had proposed cutting $1 million from the city’s $3.68 million allocation the city gave to Mural Arts last year. That $1 million has been restored to the organization’s allocation from the city.

Items also in the final FY 2025 Operating and Capital Budgets that were proposed by Mayor Parker and highlighted by the Administration are the following:

Public Safety ($636 million operating and capital over the Five-Year Plan (FYP) and Capital Program)

  • Hiring 400 Police Officers; increasing the size and frequency of recruiting classes.
  • Expansion of and new training for community policing.
  • Combatting open-air drug markets.
  • Addressing crimes against property and quality-of-life offenses, such as illegal use of all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), car meetups, retail theft, and nuisance businesses.
  • Hiring additional victim advocates.

Economic Opportunity ($306 million operating and capital over the FYP and Capital Program)

  • $10 Million to support workforce development and employer partnerships that include commitments to employment. The funding will be used to train Philadelphians for careers in industries that are already thriving and those that are projected to grow, including the building trades, logistics, and life sciences and biotech.
  • Launched new PHL Open for Business: all-of-government effort to reduce the cost and complexity businesses face when navigating City government.

Education ($293 million operating and capital over the FYP and Capital Program)

  • Increase in millage share that goes to the School District from 55 to 56 percent. The One Philly budget makes over $24 million in new investments in the District for FY ‘25, and nearly $129 million over the Five-Year Plan.
  • Supporting K-12 schools: Provides young people with extended-day, extended-year enrichment and career development opportunities; and addresses the urgent need for school facilities improvement.
  • Launching City College for Municipal Employment: A Community College of Philadelphia (CCP), City, and School District collaboration and first-of-its-kind pipeline to City jobs that will recruit people at the start of their careers, support those seeking to up-skill, and help expand access to opportunity.

Housing ($100 million operating over the FYP)

  • Housing production and preservation: Continuing investment in housing through programs like Turn the Key; Restore Repair Renew; and Basic Systems Repair Program (BSRP) – building towards the Mayor’s goal of 30,000 units of housing built, repaired, or preserved.
  • Housing preservation: Making it easier for residents and landlords to access City-funded home improvement programs through a Single Home Improvement Application (SHIA).;
  • Access to homeownership: Institutionalizing Philadelphia Home Appraisal Bias Task Force within City government to help implement its findings; supporting Philadelphia Human Relations Commission (PCHR) to focus educational and enforcement efforts on eliminating home appraisal discrimination.

Fiscal Year ’25 budget bills approved by Council are available for review at PHLCouncil.com/budget2025. Mayor Parker is expected to sign all FY ‘25 Operating and Capital Budget bills into law. FY ‘25 starts on July 1.

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