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Peduto Proposes $517.5M Budget for Pittsburgh

Peduto-portraitAs Harrisburg grinds to a halt over a spending plan, Pittsburgh is forging ahead with its own budgeting process.

Mayor Bill Peduto handed over his plans for the city’s next fiscal year, which include $10 million additional spending from the 2015 fiscal year, according to a report from Robert Zullo of the Post-Gazette. The increase is due to rising employee costs, Peduto said, with public workers guaranteed a 1% raise and employee healthcare costs climbing.

The Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority – established by Act 47 as a financial oversight board for distressed municipalities – will now examine Peduto’s plans, before coming back with recommendations of their own.

Peduto’s plans include over $70 million in capital spending, almost $15 million for street paving and $11.6 for building rehabilitation and demolition, while increasing Pittsburgh’s contribution to employee pension funds by $150 million over the next five years.

The proposed budget would also see the city’s debt drop from 17.1% of its expenditures to 8.8%.

A struggle between Peduto and the ICA is expected, with the Mayor urging the authority to stop holding back millions of dollars in gambling revenue that the state owes Pittsburgh. Peduto is also pushing for transparency from the ICA throughout the budget process, including meetings that are advertised for seven days before they take place to solicit public input.

3 Responses

  1. It seems Act 47 imposes a financial straitjacket on targeted cities. Other states have seen entire cities “taken over” by outside managers using similar laws. Act 47 sounds very much like an ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) creation. (ALEC writes templates for use by governors and state legislators around the country). Act 47 relegates local elected officials to mere figureheads. Act 47 results in forced selling of assets like water, sewer, parking garages, etc. Once the forced privatization is completed, the cities are left in worse financial shape, not immediately, but over the longer-term future. Meanwhile local control and democracy is trumped by corporate/state managers under the guise of solving a financial problem created in part by Act 47 itself. Once the city is returned to local officials and to the public, what Round Two will look like, after the dollars from asset sales are spent on city needs, is anyone’s guess. We need to start researching Act 47 to uncover the hidden history of this program–why we have it, whose agenda is served, and who benefits from it.

  2. Act 47—-a privatized, corporate takeover piece of legislation written by corporate takeover artists–and corporate Wall Street America—all designed to impose corporate hegemony over local government. Act 47 is an indirect route to killing local control and our democracy and, by-passing local elected officials. It makes local government moot! Makes it academic! It establishes state/ie: corporate control. How?—by starving the “beast”–ie: local government. Wake up city and local folks—if you don’t like directives coming from Wall
    Street via Harrisburg/Washington, then you’ll wise up and investigate who wrote the Act 47 “law.” Wait till you find out what their master plan involves…….Amazing—not one state rep or senator or local official sees the “big picture” of which I speak….The are simply collecting a paycheck in many cases………

  3. A $517.5 budget? Wow that is not very much money. Less than a month’s rent.

    or…. the headline could be fixed to add the word “million” 🙂

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