New Police Contract Creates $70 Million Budget Hole

Mayor says he will try to avoid cuts to other services.

Philadelphia Schools

One thing about the big raise an arbitrator granted to Philly Police last week: City Hall hadn’t really budgeted for it.

The raise — officers get hikes of at least three percent each of the three years of the contract — will cost $70 million. Now Mayor Michael Nutter must find money for that extra expense in his five-year budget. He says he’ll try to avoid cuts in other services while doing so.

“Our goal — certainly after spending a lot of time in the tail of end of ’08, all of ’09 and all of ’10 and part of ’11, making cuts and doing any number of different things, we will do everything we possibly can to avoid service impacts on the citizens of this city,” Nutter told CBS Philly.  They have endured a lot. We’ve asked a lot.”

Other options: Increase taxes or fees — or use the power of accounting to find smaller savings in city programs without impacting service levels.  In any case, Nutter has 20 days to make revisions before presenting the amended budget to the state agency that oversees city finances. [CBS Philly]