The new budget proposed by Mayor Jim Kenney is set at $5.6 billion for the 2023 fiscal year. This is an increase of 5.5% or around $330 million from last year.
In a pre-recorded statement outlining the proposal, Mayor Kenney announced that the additional spending will not lead to new or increased taxes. This is due to the city government anticipating substantial growth in property assessments next fiscal year which would increase tax revenue.
The increase in spending will be divided among various institutions and programs aimed at tackling many problems the city is currently facing.
In an effort to curb violent crime in the city, the budget includes $184 million for violence prevention programs. This is an increase of over 18% since the last fiscal year.
The Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disability Services, which sometimes sends crisis specialists on emergency calls, will also see a bump of $7 million to its budget.
Under the plan, Philadelphia Police will also see additional funding to increase presence, improve forensic science capabilities, and aid detectives.
The plan also aims to fill nearly 500 vacancies currently in the Philadelphia police department.
The proposal also includes a modest increase for various educational institutions such as the Community College of Philadelphia, The city’s school district, and the Free Library.
The passage of the proposal in its current state would only leave a $158 million or 2.8% surplus. Typically, the city aims for a 6% surplus to weather unforeseen financial hardship.
City Council will debate and amend the new proposal in the coming months and must be approved by the end of June.