October 19 2010

The Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority today released its revised “Philadelphia’s General Fund Budget: A Citizen’s Guide,” which can be accessed on the PICA website at:

This document is a revised and updated version of PICA’s previous Citizen’s Guide to the Budget with figures reflecting the approved FY2011 budget.  The Guide supplies an accessible means for understanding Philadelphia’s budget, and the impact of the recession on revenues and expenditures.  The document also provides a snapshot of revenue and expenditure trends for the last decade, providing a valuable tool for all segments of the public.

“The material contained in this guide is a tremendous resource for public advocates, community groups, members of the Press, and all who are concerned with the City of Philadelphia’s budget,” noted PICA Board Chair Jim Eisenhower.  Eisenhower continued, “the easy to understand snapshots provide a user-friendly look at how the City raises and spends its resources.”

The PICA Citizen’s Guide to the Budget explains basic terms for understanding the budget, and describes all of the various revenue sources for the City, how much each revenue source generates, and key tax rates.  On the expenditure side, the Guide provides basic information about City spending overall as well as details about the largest spending areas in the City budget.  The Guide also discusses personnel trends across government and within departments over time, and provides comparative data with other municipalities. 

“One of the most important pieces of the Guide is its description of changes over the last decade in key budget areas,” noted Eisenhower.  “The changes in tax rates, the dramatic increases in benefits costs, and growing debt costs, are all laid out in an easy to understand fashion.  It is also very easy to grasp the impacts of the recession on the City’s revenues and expenditures.”

PICA Staff is available to meet with community groups and members of the public to present and discuss any or all of the information contained within the Citizen’s Guide to the Budget or other issues impacting the fiscal health of the City of Philadelphia.  A copy of the Citizen’s Guide to the Budget can be found on the PICA Website:  For additional information, please contact PICA Staff at 215-561-9160.

The Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority (PICA) was created in 1991 to assist the City in overcoming a severe financial crisis.  The role of PICA is a combination of cooperation, financial assistance and oversight.  Detailed information on PICA and its work can be found at

CitizensGuideBudget102010.pdf652.81 KB