HARRISBURG - Making good on a promise to be a presence in the Capitol, Mayor Nutter yesterday personally lobbied lawmakers for millions in funding for key city programs and projects he believes are critical for Philadelphia.
Also topping his list of priorities yesterday: garnering support to extend tax breaks to a major corporate firm considering relocating its corporate headquarters to the city.
"Harrisburg is a source of a tremendous amount of funding for Philadelphia and southeastern Pennsylvania . . . and I am the chief spokesman and cheerleader for the city of Philadelphia," the mayor said when asked why he came the Capitol for the day.
He met with legislative leaders from both parties and chambers starting at 9 a.m., urging them to back more funding for public schools and public safety, child welfare, and youth violence reduction programs.
Topping his list of priorities was his push for legislation that would extend for another seven years the Keystone Opportunity Improvement Zone (KOIZ) status, in part, to attract investment-management firm BlackRock to the proposed new sister building to the Cira Centre, across from 30th Street Station.
A KOIZ status gives companies major breaks on local and state taxes to help transform blighted areas.
Dave Campoli, local manager of HRPT Properties Trust of Boston, said he and other major Center City office-tower owners oppose extending the tax-break program because it will entice existing businesses to move into the tax-free office space.
Nutter yesterday countered that extending tax breaks to Cira South will help net new jobs, and is "a major motivation for [BlackRock] to come to Philadelphia in the first place."