EDITORIAL/A premium for burials after 3
Wednesday, May 14, 2014 1:00 AM
It sounds a bit stiff, but the cost of dying is going up in Philadelphia because the Cemetery Department is in the red - well, the whole city is because officials have been spending more than they've taken in for half a decade, about $6 million more to be precise.
So, they're going to start by sticking it to the dead. Well, not exactly.
The cost of burial in the city's Cedarlawn and Eastlawn cemeteries will now vary depending on the time and day, the Mayor and Board of Aldermen decided last week unanimously.
Burials before 3 p.m. on weekdays remain the least expensive at $400. Burials after 3 p.m. will rise to $500.
The most expensive burial will be $600 on Saturdays, Sundays or holidays.
Internment fees for cremation will increase from $100 to $150 on Mondays through Fridays and to $200 on Saturdays and Sundays.
Nationally, burials after 3 p.m. could cost twice as much as the 9-3 rate, and a weekend funeral could cost three times the weekday morning rate, according to a kiplinger.com article on retirement.
A random Google search indicates Philadelphia's burial rates, while on the rise, are still close to half the national average.
Cemetery Manager Larry McKinney had recommenced discontinuing weekend burials and any after 3 p.m. on weekdays, but the Mayor and Board of Aldermen settled on raising fees after the motion to discontinue burials at certain times, well, died, 2-3.
Aldermen in September, in a 3-2 decision, voted to double ad valorem taxes, making Philadelphians among the highest taxed in the region.
The first notion of government is to raise taxes or fees to make ends meet. Rarely does government ever innovate, overhaul or eliminate anything.