If only I had time.....
The Philadelphia branch of the Pennsylvania Economy League has a neat online budget tool you can use to create your own version of Philadelphia's budget. Could be fun to do here.
Also.. A decent first cut and some interesting discussion of the issues that will be center stage in Pennsylvania congressional redistricting are all in post on the blog: swingstateproject.com. I may have to come up with some versions of how I think Pennsylvania's congressional districts may be reshaped after 2010.*******
Curious news... the state office building sold for $4.6 million. I had some thoughts earlier if anyone is interested. Question now is whether a developer will get further tax breaks or tifs to redevelop the building even after buying the building at a fire sale price.
There are lots of odd angles to this actually. While it seems like a bad deal for the state, as per some of the criticisms of the auditor general..... nonetheless, from the perspective of the city proper there are some advantages. Government building = no tax. Private building = tax. Which begs the question of how much in taxes? Is it a $4.6 million dollar building? Base year assessments right. It is assessed at $14 million which may be a properly assessed value as of a few years ago. Nonetheless I suspect an appeal is inbound. But a $14 million dollar property is enough to be noticed a bit in city and school district budgets. I wonder if the transfer tax applies to sales of state property. That would be something else.
Still pretty amazing when you consider that what may be the single best parcel of property in the region barring a few spots on Mt. Washington sold for so little. Makes you wonder how other real estate ventures Downtown are economically viable.