September 2, 2016 |
Philadelphia is counting on its recent good fortune with tax revenue continuing for the next five years as a way to fund new labor agreements and rising pension costs. As presented in the latest version of the city's five-year plan - approved by the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority on Wednesday - the city is assuming about $20 million more in revenue each year than originally estimated. That, however, won't completely cover the costs of new labor agreements. Officials revised the five-year plan after Mayor Kenney signed a four-year, $170 million contract in July with the city's largest municipal union, AFSCME District Council 33. During Wednesday's PICA board meeting, board members expressed concern over a potential recession within the next five years.
July 21, 2016 |
The Kenney administration granted 3.25 percent raises to the 2,100 members of the Fire Department, effective July 1. The raises were part of a reopening of the firefighters' four-year contract, which expires next year. When the contract, which was retroactive to 2013, was signed in January 2015, it awarded raises for the first three years and left the fourth year open for negotiation. The agreement called for annual raises of 3, 3, and 3.25 percent, with a reopener in 2016. City spokeswoman Lauren Hitt said an arbiter decided on the 3.25 percent wage increase for 2017.
May 20, 2016 |
The City of Philadelphia has already spent $25 million more in overtime than it had budgeted this fiscal year. And that year doesn't end until June 30. Through the end of April, city workers were paid $159.7 million in overtime, blowing through the $135 million budgeted, according to a new report from the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority (PICA), the state board that oversees the city's finances. This will be the fifth year in a row that overtime has increased substantially.
March 25, 2016
THIS WEEK has been a real head-scratcher in Philly politics. And when you don't have any hair, you tend to notice these things. Let's start at City Hall. Kevin Vaughan was appointed chairman of the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority, the fiscal watchdog group that must approve Philadelphia's five-year spending plans in order for the city to get state funding. Vaughan was appointed by Gov. Wolf - on Mayor Kenney 's recommendation. Oh. That's . . . convenient.
March 24, 2016 |
The chairman of a super PAC that raised $1.4 million to help elect Mayor Kenney last year has been appointed to the board that has oversight of the city's budget and spending plans. Kevin Vaughan, who headed the Forward Philadelphia super PAC, is the new chairman of the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority (PICA). He was appointed to the board this month by Gov. Wolf on Kenney's recommendation. At last week's PICA meeting, the board unanimously approved Vaughan as chairman.
February 18, 2016 |
Philadelphia's fiscal watchdog has called for city officials, the Pension Board, and the city's municipal unions to do something to address the looming pension crisis. "We felt as a board that we wanted to remind the administration and City Council and others of PICA's interest in this topic and to respectfully suggest that all parties work together for this very serious matter," Suzanne Biemiller, who chairs the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority, said during Tuesday's board meeting.
July 18, 2015 |
The city's fiscal overseer, the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority, approved Mayor Nutter's final five-year spending plan Thursday, despite concerns raised by the city controller that Philadelphia's government could be facing significant deficits by 2017. The five-member PICA board followed the guidance of the agency's executive staff, which issued a 110-page report explaining why the plan should be approved. Among its points: Previous budgets have shown that the city's revenue projections are "realistic," and tax collection rates have been higher than expected.
July 12, 2015 |
The city controller on Friday rejected Philadelphia's five-year budget and called on the city's state-appointed fiscal watchdog to do the same, saying the plan overestimates tax revenues and could lead to a deficit. Controller Alan Butkovitz said the budget makes flawed estimates for the business income and receipts tax, sales tax, real estate transfer tax, and parking tax. In asking the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority (PICA) to reject the budget, Butkovitz said economic conditions are predicted to be less favorable over the next few years than the city's projections.
January 22, 2015 |
Philadelphia's severely underfunded municipal pension fund is "an obstacle" to the city's long-term economic growth, a special report from the city's fiscal oversight board warns. "Philadelphia cannot continue to grow and prosper unless its public sector costs are affordable to its taxpayers, and unless these costs are predictable," the report from the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority (PICA) states. PICA's 62-page report follows a state auditor general's report on municipal pension funds that also pointed out the high risk that Philadelphia's pension fund faces.
October 16, 2014 |
The board that oversees Philadelphia's finances approved the latest version of the city's five-year plan Tuesday, while cautioning that the city should tighten its belt instead of slowing down wage-tax cuts. The Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority (PICA) approved the amended plan unanimously. The fiscal road map, initially approved in July, had to be readjusted to reflect a $133 million contract settlement with the city's largest union, AFSCME District Council 33, and a recent $97.5 million Fraternal Order of Police arbitration award.