Residents citywide are still concerned with what Mayor Nutter’s Actual Value Initiative may have in store for their neighborhoods. While some are concerned about how much their taxes may increase; others are more concerned with what services provided through the city’s operating budget would continue to be cut.
Anna Wallace Adams is the Department of Finance chief of staff. She explained at a meeting this week held by the Chestnut HIll Community Association where Philadelphia tax revenues go.
“The city’s operating budget is funded by about 45 percent of the taxes paid by Philadelphia taxpayers and about 55 percent goes to the school district,” said Adams.
Jackie Wolf lives in Bakers Bay, in the Torresdale neighborhood in the Northeast. She is concerned not only with the cuts in services but also with what the money for the school district is actually being used for.
“There are even more kids in charter schools. Lots of the schools are wonderful, some are good but most of them are atrocious,” said Wolf.
Bill Kennedy is the first vice president of the East Torresdale Civic Association. He said he is concerned with what the service cuts will mean for public safety in the city.
“It’s a known fact that around here there’s only two police cars patrolling between the hours of 8 p.m. and 12 p.m.,” said Kennedy.
City Councilman David Oh spoke at the East Torresdale Civic Association’s meeting this week at the Liberty Evangelical Free Church at 5125 Linden Ave. to discuss the Actual Value Initiative and the effect it could have on the area.
“People need a certain level of services. People are primarily interested in a good quality of life,” said Oh.
Stephen Gill has lived in the Northeast for the majority of his life. He currently lives at 4200 Decatur St. in Holmesburg. He said he not only fears what services could be cut but also what parts of the area will continue to be neglected.
“I’m worried that sanitation like trash and recycling pick ups will be cut as well as road maintenance. There are already a number of roads in the northeast that need repair and they haven’t been yet,” said Gill.
The city’s budget for 2014 will be decided in the spring. As the mayor continues on his mission to lower taxes across the city, it is unlikely that the issue of service cuts will be resolved through the use of tax revenues.