Monday, December 6, 2010

County Council to Vote on 2011 Budget

Allegheny County Council will meet today at 5 p.m. to discuss and vote upon the county budget for the 2011 fiscal year totaling $768 million.

A plan prepared by Councilman Bill Robinson (D-Hill District) is built off of the budget proposal made by County Executive Dan Onorato. The Onorato budget includes a $4 million contribution from non-profit institutions to defray the cost of county services. The plan proposed by Robinson does not account for that money, because there is no guarantee it will come.

“I’m going to take the Chief Executive at his word which was, he thought he would have something by the end of the December. That’s obviously after we pass the budget,” Robinson said. “The way the budget is structured, the four million dollars is not essential at this moment.”

Assuming Onorato comes through with a contribution from tax-exempt companies like hospitals and universities, Robinson says the money can cleanly be added to the budget.

“If that four million or more appears later in the year it simply will go into our general fund and be reallocated,” he said.

Robinson’s bill does draw around $12 million dollars in the sale of tax liens to a private company, something the county has done before in 2007. Although he says he doesn’t expect one-time boost deals to continue being a possibility for the county.

Robinson says no Republican proposals have been accepted among the council, but he does expect that Republican’s will propose amendments to his own budget bills offered to the council.

Council will also take up a $113 million capital budget which is used for long-term spending projects.

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