By: Sabra Townsend, Laurie Mazer, and Robin Roberts
What is going on?
Parents United for Public Education has joined a coalition of groups who are demanding a number of changes from the Philadelphia Parking Authority and from the Mayor on funding for our schools that is not on the backs of poor and working people.
Pay Up PPA demands:
- The Philadelphia Parking Authority has woefully fallen short of its stated goals of funding the School District of Philadelphia. Pay Up PPA demands an annual, dedicated, and recurring funding stream of $25 million for the School District of Philadelphia.
- The Philadelphia Parking Authority is an unaccountable organization not worthy of the public trust. It must become an accountable and transparent organization responsible to the citizens of Philadelphia.
- The Philadelphia Parking Authority must be accountable first to the Philadelphia City Council and Administration in mission and in practice.
- The Philadelphia Parking Authority must become more diverse and reflective of the City it operates in.
The Our City Our Schools equitable funding proposal calls on the Mayor and City Council to:
- Abolish the 10-year tax abatement program for properties assessed at $500,000 or above.
- Negotiate with major tax-exempt institutions — like universities and nonprofits that hold property valued at more than $15 million — to pay 50 percent of what they would if they were fully taxed. (They currently pay zero percent.)
- Postpone the proposed cuts to the Business Income and Receipts Tax (BIRT) scheduled over the next five years.
- Postpone the proposed cuts in the wage tax scheduled over the next five years and help working people by implementing a low-wage tax credit program.
- Increase the Use and Occupancy Tax by raising the overall rate to 1.5 percent while raising the exemption amount to shield small businesses.
- The two cost-cutting measures propose as part of the Our City Our Schools proposal:
- Undertake an independent forensic, managerial, and performance audit to ensure every School District program is cost-effective.
- Fund a feasibility study on a public bank that could address the School District’s more than $300 million in annual debt service payments.
What can you do?
Attend a PPA board meeting and speak out on school funding
Attend a school board meeting and speak out about fair funding
Write a letter or an email to our Mayor and City Council
Write a FB post tagging PPA, SDP, City Council Members, Auditor
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