Tuesday, September 23, 2008

City of Pittsburgh's 2009 Budget Announced

The 2009 Pittsburgh City Budget was released today with an expenditure amount of $439.9 million, up about $16 million from 2008. Projected revenues also are expected to increase from $436.8 million in 2008, to $443.4 in the coming year--all without a tax hike. The city expects revenues to exceed expenditures by about $3.5 million. This money will be used as part of a plan to reduce Pittsburgh's debt by 40 percent over the next 5 years.

The budget also cuts 65 vacant city administrative positions and plans to put 40 more police officers on the street by training civilians to fill administrative duties formerly held by officers.

It also plans on $2.4 million in casino revenues. Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's Chief of Staff Yarone Zober says in the future, Pittsburgh can likely count on $10 million annually from the casino, but because of the delays in construction, it will likely deliver far less in 2009.

In an effort to control unfunded pension, the budget also ups the mandatory minimum payment to the city pension fund by 15 percent.

The Mayor is also currently negotiating payments in lieu of taxes for the Pittsburgh Non-Profit Service Fund and he is confident that their three-year commitment will be of equal or greater value than it has been in the past.

The Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority (ICA), a state oversight group, has 30 days to request changes to the budget before it is presented to City Council November 10th.

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