FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PHILADELPHIA (January 11, 2023) – The 2023-2027 Plan and Budget for the Center City District (CCD) was confirmed in City Council on December 15, 2022 by a vote of 16-0 and signed by Mayor Jim Kenney on January 4, 2023, after being overwhelmingly approved by District property owners during the summer of 2022 with only two of 1,676 properties (representing 0.02% of the total assessed value of the CCD) filing objections to the plan. This the eighth CCD reauthorization — a formal process required under Pennsylvania law — since the District was created in 1990.
“The plan and budget for the period 2023-2027 increases the CCD’s primary focus on the basics, devoting more than three-quarters of assessment revenues to programs for a clean, safe, attractive and well-managed public environment,” CCD President Paul R. Levy said. “The balance of revenues supports capital improvements, research, planning, management and communications strategies that bolster the attractiveness and competitiveness of Center City.”
The CCD was established in March 1990 under the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Municipality Authorities Act as a private-sector directed municipal authority. With the approval from property owners within its boundaries and from the City of Philadelphia, the CCD was authorized in November 1990 to provide security, cleaning and promotional services that supplement, but do not replace, the basic services provided by the City of Philadelphia and the responsibilities of property owners. Every five years, CCD is required to undergo a reauthorization process and receive City approval to continue its work. There are now 15 other improvement districts in commercial areas throughout Philadelphia, according to phillybidalliance.org.
Beginning in fall 2021 and continuing in spring and summer 2022, the CCD conducted customer satisfaction surveys to assess the perceptions, priorities and concerns of Center City property owners, businesses, workers, residents, as well as those of a wide range of city and regional residents who were walking on the sidewalks of Center City. Public safety issues were paramount.
Additionally, from January to April 2022, CCD thoroughly reviewed all existing programs and services, including those initiated to help with recovery from the pandemic.
Based on that information and on data provided by the Office of Property Assessment, a proposed plan and budget was drafted for the period January 2023 through December 2027. After its approval by CCD’s Board in May 2022, the proposed budget and a public hearing notice was mailed in June 2022 to all benefited property owners, commercial tenants and residential owner-occupants within CCD boundaries. Estimates were also provided for the projected 2023 assessed charge for each benefited property.
As required, the CCD held its publicly advertised, public hearing on July 25, 2022, with 14 people testifying in favor of the reauthorization and no one opposed. Those who provided statements of support represented a wide range of stakeholders from the office, health care, hospitality, residential and retail sectors.
At the end of the 45-day public comment period following the hearing, as mandated by Pennsylvania law, only two of 1,676 properties within the CCD filed objections to the plan, representing 0.12% of the owners and .02% of the total assessed value of the CCD. Under state law, the plan is considered disapproved if one-third of the owners, or owners representing one-third of the assessed value, object.
“We’re pleased that this reauthorization allows CCD to continue our more than 30-year mission to provide a clean, safe, well-managed downtown and to ramp up our efforts to support recovery so Philadelphia can successfully compete as an attractive location for business, education and health care institutions, life sciences and for tourism, arts and entertainment, dining and shopping and as the fastest growing residential area in the city,” Levy added.
CCD’s 2023-2027 Plan and Budget is available to read and download at: centercityphila.org/research-reports/2023-2027-plan-and-budget-for-the-center-city-district.
Center City District is dedicated to making Center City Philadelphia clean, safe and attractive, and is committed to maintaining Center City’s competitive edge as a regional employment center, a quality place to live, and a premier regional destination for dining, shopping and cultural attractions. Find us at www.centercityphila.org.