Today, Pittsburgh City Council voted to approve the Act 47 Recovery Coordinators’ 5-year plan to lead our City to financial recovery. Read on to learn more about Act 47 and what this plan means for our City.
In 2004, after decades of declining population and declining tax revenue, the City of Pittsburgh was designated “distressed”, a term defined by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s “Financially Distressed Municipalities Act” of 1987 (also known as “Act 47”).
State legislators also passed Act 11, which added another layer of financial oversight from the state, called the Pittsburgh Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority (PICA).
Act 47 Plan:
Every five years, the state-appointed Act 47 Coordinators have worked with City officials to craft a plan for Pittsburgh’s financial renewal.
Why are we still considered “distressed”?
Thanks to the implementation of many of the recommendations from previous plans, the City is no longer in crisis mode, but we still have a lot of work to do. If we do nothing,
1) the 2013 millage rate adjustment which has caused a significant loss of property tax revenue (link to Piktograph), and
2) actions by our pension board in 2013, which now require a higher annual contribution of taxpayer dollars to the pension fund.
What does the Act 47 Plan mean for our City?
Here are just a few of the recommendations included in the plan:
What does the Act 47 Plan mean for you?
Starting in 2015, you will see better roads, bridges, and public buildings. Why? Act 47 analysis shows that more than half our city roads are failing, 24 of our bridges are structurally deficient, and our public buildings, from recreation centers to police stations, are falling apart. They recommend an infusion of $120 million of bond capital in our city infrastructure.
We look forward to hearing from you.
What happens next?
Passing this plan only means we have work to do; the real deadline is the end of the year when the budget has to be passed. This plan will guide the work required of the Mayor and Council over the next six months to ensure that the City’s 2015 Capital and Operating budgets deliver the service, amenities, and infrastructure City residents deserve. I look forward to working through the plan with Mayor Peduto and my colleagues on Council, choosing the best options for better management and increased revenue to ensure that the City proactively invests in our infrastructure, and also continues to provide and improve services to residents of the City of Pittsburgh.
If you have further questions or suggestions, please feel free to contact me here.
Tuesday, June 24, 2014