Demand a moratorium on any new taxes until Philadelphia gets its house in order

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Philadelphia City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart announced a fraud investigation into the estimated $33 million in unaccounted funds that are potentially missing from the city's bank accounts. This is directly attributable to what the controller called the city's "extremely sloppy" financial management that also contributed to the $924 million of errors in the city's Comprehensive Annual Financial Report. Philadelphia's fiscal mismanagement has been going on for years and the controller's internal audit uncovered multiple significant deficiencies as well as two material weaknesses that puts Philadelphia's internal controls as the worst of the ten largest cities, yet Mayor Kenney's tepid response is to create a "Reconciliation Task Force." This is completely unacceptable and confirms the sad fact that Philadelphia's elected leaders have been and will continue to be irresponsible stewards of the citizen's tax dollars. The funds from the hugely unpopular soda tax that was ostensibly enacted to create universal Pre-K were co-mingled with funds from the General Account in a bank account that, as of a few month ago, had not been reconciled in six years and the Mayor and City Council are now preparing a buffet of additional taxes that they will serve up to the citizens this year because, as usual, the city needs additional revenues. I am calling on the City Council to enact a moratorium on any new taxes or increases in existing taxes to include the recent property assessments that amount to a back-door tax increase until the controller's fraud investigation is completed, and the city provides a complete and accurate accounting of the missing funds.



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