Good morning and happy Friday, Streeters. Here’s what’s buzzing this morning:
After being drowned out by union protesters in City Council Chambers, Mayor Nutter delivered his budget address in the Mayor’s Reception Room before members of the press and administration, away from the din. Nutter proposed a 1.32% tax rate and a $15,000 homestead exemption alongside assistance for low-income and small-time commercial property owners, the Inquirer reports. Nutter's also hopes to reinstate long-awaited wage tax relief measures put on hold due to the recession. Otherwise no major cuts were proposed and the $99 million in new spending is largely meant to cover the city’s underfunded pension obligations.
[UPDATED1:11pm] At Tuesday’s Planning Commission meeting
the public will get its first look at the Commission will discuss the Central District’s revised land use map based on the city’s new zoning code. Inga Saffron got a preview and applauds the map’s “progressive urban agenda.” Zoning remapping for the Central District aims to “contain” skyscrapers at the core of the city and generally encourage mixed-use/dense/transit-oriented development to reflect our 21st century urban needs. [NOTE: Planner Jennifer Barr wrote in to remind us that the proposed land use and zoning maps for the Central District were presented at the Central District Open House on Feb. 27 and may be seen online.]
The Women’s Community Revitalization Project received state tax credits to build affordable housing in the place of two historic banks at Front and Norris streets, reports Hidden City Daily. These tax credits bring this project much closer to reality, though an appeal of the project’s zoning brought by neighbors is still pending.
In his column today Stu Bykofsky responds to this week’s PlanPhilly/Inquirer series on the city’s tax delinquency crisis, and suggests that do-right taxpayers go on a payment holiday – particularly in light of the Actual Value Initiative. He writes: “How about this: When your real-estate bill arrives, send back the envelope filled with sand, as in, pound this. Just say no. Just say, ‘Mayor, after you collect from the 100,000 deadbeats, then come see about me, OK?’” And why not? “Philadelphia is a no-punishment zone for deadbeats.”
Point taken, Stu, though nonpayment is hardly something we’d support. In all seriousness, it’s been one heck of a week for us at PlanPhilly. If you haven’t had a chance to read the tax delinquency series, Ravaged by Neglect, yet may we suggest it for some meaty weekend reading?