Friday, November 13, 2009
Pittsburgh City Council President Doug Shields says the council cannot vote on the mayor’s proposed budget until the Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority gives its final approval. The ICA gave a “conditional approval” to the mayor’s spending plan in October, noting that the budget was still 15 million dollars out of balance. Mayor Luke Ravenstahl plugged that hole last week by proposing a 1% Higher Education Privilege Tax to be levied on the tuition paid by students attending colleges and universities within the city. Ravenstahl says he has met the conditions of the conditional approval and by not rejecting the plan the ICA has given its tacit approval. Doug Shields feels otherwise. He says until the ICA board gives him specific approval he cannot precede. Shields sent ICA Chair Barbara McNees and ICA Executive Director Henry Sciortino asking for clarification. Calls and emails to McNees and Sciortino have not been answered.