While there will be no increase in property taxes for government services when the city of Philadelphia’s begins its fiscal year October 1, taxes will rise due to the public schools.

There will be a bump in the millage attached to the Philadelphia Municipal School District, jumping 1.53 mills from 56.96 mills to 58.49 mills. The increase is needed for debt service, officials said. 

The city schools have their own budget. The School Board makes its request to the Mayor and Board of Alderman..

The mayor and alderman approved the new city budget during their regular meeting Sept. 3.

The city is currently operating on total budget revenue of $10,971,700, which includes monies from state and federal sources as well as charges for services, fines and forfeitures, Included, too, is the carryover from the previous budget year, grants and miscellaneous  sources.

The new budget is projecting total revenues at $12,518,788, including $1,422,738 from ad valorem taxes for the general city services.

The city will levy 77.49 mills for FY 2020. Of that, 19 mills will be raised for the city government (the same as last year); and, 3.49 mills is for debt service. The rest of the local millage will go to the schools. Local taxes are projected to raise $8,018,788, of which $7,980,674 is projected to be spent, leaving $38,115.

 The estimated fund balance at the beginning of the fiscal year is $4.5 million. That number could be lower, however, because of the money spent for cleaning up after the April 18 tornadoes.

“The other departments are coming in on budget,” Mayor James Young said. “We had extra debris pickup after the storm. And we had equipment to break down that had to deal with.”

Young said the storm cost the city more than $100,000 to clean up and put the sanitation department over its budget . To try and stay in budget, some street paving projects were delayed. The Fiscal Year 2019 ends September 30.
“That’s when we’ll know,” Young said.

The city’s sales tax receipts dipped earlier this year but have been on the increase in recent months when compared to last year. 

Municipalities collect state sales taxes and receive a portion of it back. Monthly sales tax returns give a general indication of business growth in a community as compared to the previous year. 

The city expected to receive $4,777,550 for the current budget. The city is waiting to receive the numbers for August and September to see where that stands.

In other matters, the board of aldermen voted to:

 • Approve the claims docket and the minutes from the previous meeting;

• Approve for Josh Ray to attend the Crime Stoppers Conference on the Coast Oct. 15-18;

• Amend the Capital Outlay account from $40,000 to $59,000;

• Amend the Police Department patrol car account from $20,000 to $28,000; and,

• Amend the Sanitation accounts as follows: personal services from $116,370 to $124,970; gas and oil from $9,500 to $12,400; and, equipment from $40,000 to $60,400.