Mayor Kenney warns of possible $450 million budget gap

The city of Philadelphia is warning of a potential $450 million budget gap for the 2022 fiscal year and is asking residents to weigh in on spending priorities.

Mayor Jim Kenney on Tuesday cited the pandemic and ensuing economic downturn for what he called a "staggering" drop in tax revenues as well as new costs and higher costs for existing services. In a statement, he said "the picture for the coming budget is bleak."

Finance director Rob Dubow said officials are optimistic about help from the federal government but the "timing, scale, and details of how funds will arrive and can be spent remains undetermined." And even with a one-time infusion of federal money, he said, the city could face "years of budget stress as the economy recovers."

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The budget director, Marisa Waxman, called for "diverse voices and insights" to help come up with a budget that addresses community needs, and said officials still plan to try to address racial disparities.

The mayor is to propose the budget April 15, and officials said they want to hear from residents about how the city should focus spending amid "difficult budget choices." Residents and business owners can weigh in through a 10-minute survey by Feb. 28, officials said.



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