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As part of its efforts to increase public safety, reduce recidivism, and decrease public spending on criminal justice functions, the City of Philadelphia has joined a growing number of local and state governments focused on connecting formerly incarcerated individuals with employment. The rationale - backed by an emerging research literature - is that former inmates are less likely to commit crimes causing them to return to prison if they become gainfully employed. In addition to the social benefits to be derived from reduced crime, there are significant positive economic impacts associated with employing the formerly incarcerated, including increased earnings for former inmates, increased tax revenues from employment, and avoided costs in the form of spending on criminal justice agencies.
"Green infrastructure" is an emerging concept that couples the economic benefits of traditional infrastructure with the ancillary environmental and social benefits that can accrue from natural design elements. Studies have shown this new approach to be a good dollar-for-dollar investment, particularly for cities seeking innovative ways to undertake cost-effective development programs and promote future economic competitiveness. Still, green infrastructure's incorporation into Philadelphia's redevelopment strategy has been anything but seamless. Despite well-researched plans, clear economic, environmental, and social benefits, and growing public consensus, stakeholders have failed to develop a consistent method for implementation.
66% Opted to Raise Sales and Property Taxes; Majority Reject BPT and Wage Tax Hike
Mayor Nutter is a frequent visitor to Harrisburg these days in pursuit of support for the city’s plan to increase Philadelphia’s Sales Tax and adjust the city pension fund to balance the FY2010 budget. Are citizens on board with these ideas, or not? Find out in the first Philadelphia Budget Challenge report, a survey of the budget choices made during the first 30 days of the web-based, interactive budget balancing program.