Parks advocates told City Council on Tuesday that they are tired of waiting for an extra $8 million a year they say Mayor Nutter promised when he took office.
About 200 people protested in Council Chambers as Parks and Recreation Commissioner Michael DiBerardinis testified about his budget.
Lauren Bornfriend, executive director of the Philadelphia Parks Alliance, said parks advocates supported a parking tax backed by Nutter in 2008 that was to be dedicated to funding parks and rec.
The parking tax passed, but then the economy crashed. Those revenues went to causes other than parks. Bornfriend says parks have suffered long enough. Many facilities have unusable bathrooms, leaky roofs, and other problems, she said.
City Budget Director Rebecca Rhynhart said the city has raised property and sales taxes to compensate for declining revenues. If parks money were increased beyond the $47.8 million budgeted for fiscal year 2013, other departments would lose, she said. - Miriam Hill