Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Ravenstahl Won't Veto Bill to Fund Pension

Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl says although he doesn’t like it, he won’t veto Council’s plan to fund the city’s pension to 50% of its obligation by using money from scheduled parking rate increases. Council approved the plan today.

Pennsylvania threatened to take over the pension system if it wasn’t half-full by January.

Ravenstahl says he has four problems with Council’s plan: it doesn’t use any revenue from the parking rate increases to fund the Pittsburgh Parking Authority; it has no revenue source other than the city and taxpayers; it doesn’t give a long-term solution to the pension fund problem; and it wouldn’t prevent a state takeover if parking revenue is less than expected.

Ravenstahl says it’s likely that Council’s revenue projections were too high because it assumes all revenue from the rate increases will go to the pension fund.

“We shouldn’t expect the Parking Authority to give every last red cent that they receive in parking increases to the city. That’s not going to happen. That’s not realistic,” says Ravenstahl. “Once again, I’ll advocate for them to be helpful, as helpful as they can be, while still fulfilling their mission.”

Ravenstahl adds the Parking Authority cannot legally meet before the end of the year, and it’s required to commission a study before it increases any parking rates.

Ravenstahl says he won’t stand in Council’s way by vetoing the bill if Council Members think this plan will work. However, he says he will not sign the measure.

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