Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Burgess to Gov: Lease Pgh's Parking Garages

The idea to lease Pittsburgh’s parking assets in order to fund the city’s pension plan is still alive -- and now on its way to Harrisburg.

Councilman Ricky Burgess wrote a letter to Governor Tom Corbett, asking him to allow Pittsburgh’s state overseers (the Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority) to lease the city’s parking garages if Council does not do so by the end of the year.

The District 9 Councilman says under the parking lease plan, Pittsburgh’s pension plan could be fully funded in 17 years. Burgess was the only Council Member to support the lease plan proposed by Mayor Luke Ravenstahl.

Burgess also introduced legislation today that would set up an independent panel of actuaries and accountants to determine the balance of the pension fund.

That panel would also decide whether Council’s December 2010 infusion of parking tax revenue into the pension will save it from being taken over by the Pennsylvania Municipal Retirement System.

Burgess says Council won’t make the tough choices necessary to fix the city’s pension problem, so he’s asking Pittsburgh’s state overseers to make that choice instead.

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