We got this release from the City Controller today. No word yet on whether the city is considering the idea...

Butkovitz Urges City to Collect $560,000 in
Water Delinquencies from 1,123 City Employees
Controller will authorize deduction up to 20% each pay period to satisfy delinquency

PHILADELPHIA – Today, City Controller Alan Butkovitz requested that the Revenue Commissioner notify 1,123 city employees with delinquent water accounts 90 days and older to pay up or up to 20 percent of their wages will be withheld until debt is settled.

City employees' past due payments have accumulated to $560,000 with the majority of amounts owed being 180 days and older.

In a letter delivered today to City Revenue Commissioner Keith Richardson, Butkovitz wrote, "If a City employee fails to pay his/her delinquency in full, or fails to make appropriate payment arrangements by July 6, 2009, I will notify the Treasurer to begin deducting up to 20 percent of their wages from their paychecks until the delinquency is satisfied."

According to Butkovitz, "Pennsylvania law grants the City of Philadelphia the authority, through the City Controller, to deduct up to 20 percent of a city employee's salary or compensation to set-off against delinquent taxes or other monies owed to the City."

"On behalf of the City, I will ensure that all city employees pay for the services they use. City employees should be setting the example rather than being on a list of delinquent water users," said Butkovitz.

After all employees have been notified of their water delinquencies, Controller Butkovitz will follow up with the Revenue Commissioner in 30 days to determine which employees have not made full payments or failed to enter into a payment agreement.

This is part of an on-going effort by the Controller's Office to make sure all citizens are compliant with delinquent bills related to city services, as well as all applicable city taxes.

To review a copy of the letter sent to city employees, please visit the Controller's Web site at www.philadelphiacontroller.org