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WEEKLY REPORT – PHILADELPHIA CITY COUNCIL APPROVES BILLS AND RESOLUTIONS DURING THE MAY 16 MEETING

In Cindy Bass, Council Meetings, Council News, Featured, Jamie Gauthier, Jeffery Young Jr., Katherine Gilmore Richardson, Kendra Brooks, Kenyatta Johnson, Mark Squilla, Michael Driscoll, Nicolas O'Rourke, Quetcy Lozada, Rue Landau by Khara Garcia

City Council of Philadelphia Weekly Report logo

Philadelphia City Council members approved resolutions and bills during this week’s regularly stated meeting.Council has four remaining stated meetings until summer recess begins in mid-June.

Council supported the passage of Bill #240087-A, which would amend Chapter 9-600 of The Philadelphia Code, entitled “Service and Other Businesses,” by adding a new section regulating the operation of establishments providing tax preparation services and providing for remedies. The bill was sponsored by Councilmember Rue Landau, At-Large.

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Council also approved Bills #240281 (introduced by Councilmember Jeffery Young, 5th District) and #240247-A (introduced by Councilmember Mike Driscoll, 6th District).

Among the legislation approved were:

Bills approved by Council this week now go to Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle Parker for either her signature or veto.


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A VARIETY OF BILLS WERE RECENTLY VOTED OUT OF COUNCIL COMMITTEES AND UP FOR FINAL PASSAGE THIS MONTH

City Council gave the first reading this week to Bill #240059, introduced by Councilmember Jamie Gauthier (3rd District), which entitles homeowners within the eligible income range to a refund or forgiveness on property tax increases that result from a tax rate increase or their home’s assessment increasing.

This bill is part of Councilmember Gauthier’s “Defying Displacement” campaign and the “Our Philly Neighborhoods” platform championed by Councilmembers Kendra Brooks, O’Rourke, and Landau (all At-Large). The bill is eligible for passage as soon as the May 23rd Council session.

Per state law, this bill sets “low income” eligibility at the maximum allowable income for the state PACENET pharmaceutical assistance program, which is about $33,000 per year for a single-person household and $41,500 per year for married taxpayers.

This bill is co-sponsored by Majority Leader Katherine Gilmore Richardson (At-Large), Brooks, O’Rourke, Landau, Councilmember Quetcy Lozada (7th District), and Councilmember Mark Squilla (1st District).

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The city of Philadelphia anticipates new real estate assessment values for 2025. During the last property assessment, over 107,000 residential properties saw increases of at least 50% and some assessments increased by at least 300%, according to Gauthier’s office.

In 2022, then-Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed Act 58 of 2022 into law, which permits local tax authorities to provide refunds or forgiveness of real estate taxes to low-income taxpayers. Councilmember Gauthier’s bill is the local legislation necessary to activate Act 58’s tax freeze in Philadelphia. Act 58 requires the City to benchmark income eligibility to PACENET.

City Council could also take a final passage vote next week on Bill #240118, which would amend Title 9 (“Regulation of Businesses, Trades and Professions”) of The Philadelphia Code to add a new chapter concerning protections for consumers against unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices. The sponsor is Councilmember Landau.


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FISCAL YEAR 2025 BUDGET NEGOTIATIONS THIS WEEK

Philadelphia City Council leadership and Mayor Cherelle Parker’s administration continued to finalize the Fiscal Year 2025 (FY ‘25) Operating and Capital Budgets.

In March, Mayor Parker proposed a $6.29 Billion FY ‘25 Operating Budget that calls for no new tax increases, adds resources for law enforcement, and increases funding for priorities such as commercial corridor cleaning.

Council’s Committee of the Whole heard six weeks of budget testimony from various City Departments, and held various public hearings and neighborhood town hall meetings for taxpayers to provide input.

“Council and the Administration continue to discuss a final FY ’25 budget that is fiscally sound but, most importantly, equitable,” Council President Kenyatta Johnson said. He continued, “There is a negotiation process and I want to make sure we get it done right. We will continue working with Parker Administration to get the budget done as soon as possible.”

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Council’s final Stated Meeting before the annual summer recess begins is June 13. The final FY ‘25 budget must be approved by June 30. FY ‘25 starts on July 1.

Check out Mayor Parker’s budget address, Operating and Capital Budgets, proposed FY ‘25-30 Five Year Plan and other information at City Council’s FY’25 Budget Center.

Councilmembers still want to hear from the public about what you want to see or not see in the FY ’25 budget. Please reach out to your District or At-Large member to give them your thoughts. The public can also go on our Council website and give us your thoughts in writing at the Budget Town Hall Survey.


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PHILADELPHIA CITY COUNCILMEMBER CINDY BASS TO HONOR LEGENDARY SONGWRITER FRANKIE BEVERLY WITH A CELEBRATION AT THE DELL MUSIC CENTER ON SATURDAY, MAY 18

Philadelphia City Councilmember Cindy Bass (8th District), City Council and the city of Philadelphia will honor the legacy of songwriter Frankie Beverly from noon to 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 18 at the Dell Music Center, Parking Lot D, 2400 Strawberry Mansion Bridge Drive in North Philadelphia. This is a rain or shine event, free and open to the public.

A native Philadelphian, Frankie Beverly and Maze has performed numerous times at the Dell Music Center over the years and the location is the perfect spot to celebrate such an international star. The celebration will also announce the official ceremonial street renaming of the 6000 Block of Norwood Street in Germantown “Frankie Beverly Way” (located in Bass’ district).

Philadelphia City Council approved Bass’ Resolution #240096 in February of this year ceremonial renaming of the 6000 Block of Norwood Street in Germantown “Frankie Beverly Way.”

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The next Meeting of City Council is scheduled to take place on Thursday, May 23, 2024, at 10 a.m. The meeting will take place in person in Council’s Chambers on the 4th floor of Council. It will also air on Xfinity Ch. 64, Fios Channel 40, and stream at www.PHLCouncil.com/watch.

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