Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney delivers to the City Council on Thursday, March 31, the Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 budget, capital program and Five-Year Plan.
It aims to serve as guidance to the city’s economic recovery more than two years after COVID-19 first hit Philly.
“This plan will move Philadelphia forward by enhancing core City services, accelerating inclusive economic growth across the city, maintaining the City’s long-term fiscal health,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “This budget demonstrates the determination to make our city a better place to live, work, and visit.”
An integral part of the Five-Year Plan is the roughly $1.4 billion the City is receiving from the American Rescue Plan. This one-time federal relief helps ease the effects of projected revenue declines stemming from the pandemic.
Kenney proposed investments in areas of education, violence prevention, economic development, and quality of life for Philadelphians. Highlights of the plan include:
FY23 includes $270 million in funding for the School District of Philadelphia and an investment of more than $50 million in the Community College of Philadelphia.
It also continues the expansion of the PHLpreK program and Community Schools, supported by revenue from the Philadelphia Beverage Tax. It proposes 300 new slots to be funded this year, for a total of 4,300 slots, providing free and high-quality early learning services that lay a critical foundation for children and families.
The plan makes critical investments in the Roadmap for Safer Communities, the City’s violence prevention plan. With the full set of violence prevention investments, City is directing more than $184 million to help make communities safer and reduce violence.
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To increase efficiency, the FY23-28 Capital Budget for the Streets Department programs $27 million for paving/reconstruction of streets and ADA ramps in FY23 and $173 million over the life of the Capital Program.
The FY23 Capital Budget also allocates $2.1 million for traffic control improvements and $17.7 million for the full FY23-28 program, in support of the Vision Zero initiative, to make the city’s streets safer for all users.
Quality of life
Fiscal Year 2023 Budget includes expansion of multiple successful low-barrier employment programs and the continuation of the critical work of the Opioid Response Unit to spearhead multi-departmental effort and strengthen the City’s ability to address the ongoing opioid crisis across the city.
In FY23, the City will invest $3.2 million, and $6.2 million over the Five-Year Plan, to sustain non-congregate shelter services for seniors and $1.3 million in FY23 and $5.7 million over the Five-Year Plan to support homeless services providers, including to increase the wages of providers of these critical services.
Building a better government
In Fiscal Year 2023, the Kenney Administration will continue and expand efforts to reshape the internal processes of government in service of Philadelphians by reforming fines and fees; improving City operations through a racial equity lens and usage of data to drive better outcomes.
The proposed FY22 operating budget assumes $5.51 billion in revenues, and $5.61 billion in expenses, leaving a $153 million projected fund balance. The plan includes restorations of some cuts imposed during previous fiscal years because of the pandemic.
The $153 million fund balance is far lower than the pre-pandemic level of $439 million and represents under three percent of revenues. The City’s internal goal for a fund balance is usually six-to-eight percent, and national best practices call for a 17 percent fund balance.
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