Report: Strong City Tax Collections Continue, with Big Jump in Biz Taxes

City tax collections are up a full 20% year-over-year, according to PICA's latest monthly report, continuing the recent revenue surge that we've written about here previously.  Continue reading

City Council Committee Assignments Are Out. Where Did Everybody Land?

This week is the start of the new City Council term, and on Monday Council President Darrell Clarke's office released the new committee assignments for the new Council. Members will serve on these committees for the whole 4-year term.  Continue reading

New Philadelphia Resident Survey Results Show People Want the Streets Cleaned

(Rare sighting of a city street sweeper truck in the wild | Image: City of Philadelphia) The Kenney administration admirably restarted the Philadelphia Resident Survey during the Mayor's first term as a way of gauging public opinion on quality of life issues and the quality of different city services, and the second edition since 2017 was just released in a report this week.  Continue reading

This One Weird Trick Turns PA's Mail-In Voting into In-Person Early Voting

Last year, the Pennsylvania state legislature passed Act 77, a package of voting reform measures negotiated between Governor Tom Wolf and legislative Republicans that shortened the voter registration blackout period, and created a new mail-in voting system with one of the earliest early-voting windows in the country. Now, a new document released by Governor Tom Wolf's administration providing more guidance on the implementation of Act 77 to county election officials shows that the mail-in voting program has the potential to be even more expansive than initially understood. Continue reading

Introducing 'Home Rule': A New Philly Politics Podcast

Today we're excited to share the first episode of 'Home Rule', a new Philly politics podcast by Philadelphia 3.0.  Continue reading

Planning Commission Takes a Stand on Exclusionary Council Bills. More Please!

(The site of the unrequited Historic Positano Coast District | Photo: TripAdvisor) There's already been a lot of attention to Mayor Jim Kenney's last-minute pocket veto of the Drexel food truck ban that we wrote about at the end of last year, where by declining to sign the bill, it expired at the end of Council's term instead of passing into law. Continue reading

Disaster Averted: Dauphin County Folds, Buys New Voting Machines

(Philadelphia's new voting machines | Image: WHYY) The long and winding saga of Pennsylvania's mandated voting machine upgrade is quickly drawing to a close as a final hurdle—a high-stakes game of chicken between the Wolf administration and Dauphin County Republicans—was finally resolved at the end of 2019 with County elected officials caving, and the voting machine purchase moving forward.  Continue reading

Mayor Kenney Makes His Clearest Commitment Yet to Citywide Street Sweeping

(We used to do it | Photo: Department of Records) It’s happening. In his second Inaugural address, Mayor Jim Kenney committed in no uncertain terms to a citywide street sweeping program that would reach every neighborhood—a change we have relentlessly, tediously, made the case for in this space over the last several years. Continue reading

Kenney Admin Hits Pause on Reassessments for 1 Year, As New Tech Arrives in February

The Inquirer's Laura McCrystal quietly broke a few big news items this week in her update on assessments that are worth flagging, with the imminent arrival of the long-awaited Computer-Assisted Mass Appraisal (CAMA) software in February, and the impending announcement of a new Office of Property Assessment head to replace Michael Piper later this year. Continue reading

Philadelphia's Revenue and Spending Are Way Up Since 2016. Where Are Our New Services?

(Philadelphia revenue is up 23% since 2016 | Image: Pew Philadelphia Research Initiative) As Philadelphia has seen more job growth and investment in the years following the Great Recession, we've seen a lot more tax revenue come into local government as well, and Pew's Philadelphia Research Initiative has a new research brief out looking at where those revenue increases have come from, how elected officials have increased spending in response, and what they've spent it on.  Continue reading