Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Allegheny County Budget Ready Early

The Allegheny County Council Budget and Finance Committee has already determined a 2010 budget about two weeks ahead of time—something its chairman says the state wasn’t able to do.

Committee Chair Bill Robinson says the proposed budget keeps the tax rate at 4.69—just as it’s been for the past 9 years.

Although this budget is balanced, as required by law, Robinson agrees with the County Controller that without new taxes or revenues, the county faces a financial crisis by 2012 or 2013 because of labor commitments, the need to put more into the pension fund, and because operating expenses are rising faster than the rate of inflation.

One possible source of new revenues, says Robinson, could be the non-profits that receive county services (such as using the county's mechanism to raise money through bonds). He thinks it's important for the county executive and council to coordinate an approach because he's heard the non-profits are willing to sit down and discuss the matter.

Robinson expects the full council to vote on the budget December 1st, as originally scheduled.

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