What You Don't Know About The City Budget Can Hurt You

On January 24th, the Mayor will unveil his proposed budget for 2006. Maybe it will include more tax reform, maybe not.

Use This Link To Directly email The Mayor's City Blackberry -- Put Your Views In The Palm Of His Hand And Tell Him To Sign The Tax Reform Bill!

Whatever the Mayor decides about tax reform, his proposed budget will outline his priorities for the year to come. But will those priorities represent your priorities? Will the city budget direct our scarce resources toward our city's most pressing problems -- and (more important) will the city's spending help improve life in the big city?

What you don't know about the city budget CAN hurt you.

Do you understand basic budgeting? Do you know that the city's budget year does not start on January 1st? Do you know that the city has many budgets, not just one?

Do you need intermediate information? Do you know that the Mayor, and the Mayor alone, determines how much we will spend for the year? Do you know that the city budget doesn't tell us how much we plan to spend fighting fires in the coming year?

Do you require more advance advice? Do you know that the public does not get to comment on the budget until the very end of the process to create it? Do you know that our budget and Five-Year Financial Plan will not really add up?

Each year the city's elected officials decide how to raise and spend the public's money, but the process to decide how that money should be raised and spent is inaccessible to the citizenry and confusing for those who attempt to become informed. To increase citizen participation and raise the level of public debate surrounding the budget process, Philadelphia Forward presents a layperson's guide to the city budget. Follow the links below...