Friday, June 03, 2005

News you can use

Friday is usually a pretty slow news day, but there are a few important things in the paper this morning. The budget passed yesterday in Philadelphia City Council, along with cuts to the Business Privilege Tax. The budget restores the previous cuts made to libraries, firehouses and other city services. However, the cuts to the BPT will almost surely be vetoed by the Mayor and Councilman Nutter only has 9 of the required 12 votes to override a veto. Despite the torrent of e-mails from Philadelphia Forward assuring everyone they won an important victory, yet another round goes to tax cut opponents.

As we reported yesterday, Councilman Nutter's smoking ban went up in flames yesterday. Don't let the quotes from DiCicco, Clarke, and Street fool you. The defeat of the bill has nothing to do with the amendments or public policy. Street doesn't want Nutter to have another victory and killed the bill for that reason.

And then there are updates about the various Philadelphia politicians who are under indictment or suspected of breaking the law. Senator Vince Fumo failed in his attempt to call off the FBI investigators who are searching his computers that were seized in his office a few months ago. Although the court filings have been sealed, it's widely suspected the investigation has to do with payoffs by PECO Corp. to various nonprofits controlled by Fumo and his allies. In addition to Fumo's troubles, closing arguments were made today in Imam Shamsud-din Ali's racketeering trial. I'm guessing he and his co-defendants will be convicted and sent to jail. Finally, Milton Street is in trouble again.

Oh yeah. The Phillies apparently have "completed the long climb to mediocrity."


At 2:06 PM, Blogger Justacio said...

This makes me furious! I called my councilman's office this morning to vent my rage. Clarkes office sucks. And I will work for whoever opposes him if he (and the other nitwits) screw this up.

Our city needs this ban. It is an economic and health boost for every city that has passed one.

At 10:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

not sure if this is the right place for this, but....

have you looked at the section on hall watch and seen the amount of property taxes in arrears? absolutely mind boggling.

the mayor is worried about cutting the bpt and its impact on the city budget. what about going after the people who own and occupy property who haven't paid their taxes in the first place? i'm sure a few phone calls, a couple of articles, some publicity about the scofflaws (the top 100 in arrears is fascinating) and a few seizures of property would get people thinking about paying their taxes. non-compliance will always be a problem i am sure, but to have over $500 million dollars in back taxes owed to the city is unforgiveable. (i wonder how many fireman and policemen could be hired with some of those funds?)


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