Councilman Green’s School Funding Proposals
Amending Bill #130181
I believe the School District of Philadelphia has finally demonstrated the importance of balancing its budget and living within its means; this effort is worthy of our support and today I am proposing two amendments to fulfill the School District’s request for $60 million.
Both proposals raise $32 million to complement the Mayor’s $28 million in additional delinquency revenue and provide the requested $60 million.
The first proposal eliminates the homestead exemption and consequently provides $32M for the district by slightly altering the City/District revenue split ratio in the District’s favor. This plan also lowers the millage to around 1.22 from the 1.34 passed out of Committee last week (.5226 City/.7014 Schools). The lowest millage rate possible is the best way to implement AVI and ensure the fairest property tax system – the stated goal of the AVI process.
The second leaves the homestead exemption in place and leaves the rate as is . It simply revises the ratio (.5704 City/.7655 Schools) and provides $32 million more and less to the School District and the City, respectively.
The City/District split would be altered slightly from 45/55 to 42.7/57.3.
These measures eliminate only a portion of extra money built into the Administration’s rate. The $32 million that comes out of the City’s budget will not impact services as there are funds in excess of that amount consisting of homestead exemption and gentrification relief dollars included in the rate that are not likely to be used. Additionally, it is very unlikely that the aggregate value of taxable real estate will be reduced by $2.5 billion (the amount anticipated from appeals).
Should this analysis be wrong, the fund balance will cover the $32 million.