(PITTSBURGH) Nov. 13, 2012 Mayor Luke Ravenstahl this morning presented Pittsburgh's 2013 Budget and Five-Year Plan to City employees, members of City Council and community leaders at City Council Chambers. For the seventh year in a row, the Mayor’s proposed $470 million budget is balanced, contains no new tax increases or layoffs and enhances the City’s commitment to investing in neighborhoods and infrastructure. In addition, the budget holds the line on spending, budgets revenues conservatively – estimating expenditures to be less than revenues in every year of the plan, and continues the fiscal responsibility that has been the hallmark of the Ravenstahl administration.
"Almost one decade ago, our City was facing bankruptcy and entered Act 47 oversight," Ravenstahl said. "Today, however, we’ve brought the promise back to Pittsburgh. Today, Pittsburgh’s Third Renaissance is in full swing and is marked by both job creation and neighborhood development throughout the City - from East Liberty to East Ohio Street, from the West End to the South Side, from Downtown to Allentown. We can say, for the first time in my lifetime, that Pittsburgh’s population is growing again. Crime is at a historic low, having decreased for six straight years. And perhaps most importantly, at over 1.2 million, there are more jobs in Pittsburgh today than ever before."
The backbone of the City’s financial success has been the commitment to paying down past debts, resulting in the retiring of a quarter of a billion dollars of past debts. The City will reach a debt cliff starting in the year 2018, and in 2019 debt service payments will reduce by more than $30 million, freeing up money for more capital investment.
The proposed $65 million 2013 capital budget will fund essential quality-of-life services such as public safety, public works, and parks and recreation. Top capital projects include:
The budget has already been approved by the ICA and Act 47. Last Thursday, the State’s Act 47 team, citing balanced budgets and future financial stability, requested that the City be released from their oversight. The State’s secretary of economic development will make that determination in the coming months.
City Council has until December 31st to pass the Mayor’s budget or make modifications.
“We should be most proud that we were able to turn ourselves around despite a national economic recession,” Ravenstahl said. "While other governments are increasing taxes and laying off workers, we’ve been able to balance our budgets and save for a rainy day. In fact, we actually cut taxes. While we’ve brought the Promise back to Pittsburgh, there is still much more work to do. But we must keep working together to ensure we remain a financially strong city.”
Office of Mayor Luke Ravenstahl
512 City County Building | 414 Grant Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
telephone: 412-255-2626 | facsimile: 412-255-2687