Pittsburgh's 7th Consecutive Balanced Budget with No Tax Increases or Service Cuts
Yesterday, I introduced Pittsburgh’s 2013 budget and updated five-year financial plan. Over the past six years, we have worked hard to bring financial stability back to City government. This budget continues to chart the course of responsible fiscal leadership that has been the hallmark of my administration.
During my time in office, debt has been reduced by almost a quarter of a billion dollars. This has led to nine bond rating upgrades, and allowed us to address even more neighborhood infrastructure needs, like street paving and the demolition of abandoned structures. For five years, we operated on a pay-as-you-go basis by paying for capital needs without borrowing. This is historic. We remain one of the only cities in recent history to have operated without borrowing for five straight years. Most remarkably, we were able to achieve all of this without raising a single tax. In fact, we have reduced taxes - we lowered parking taxes and eliminated certain business taxes altogether.
Partnerships to Move Pittsburgh Ahead
At some point, we all have sat in a long line of standstill traffic, watching our fuel tank gradually deplete. Well, now thanks to a partnership with Carnegie Mellon, we are deploying cutting-edge traffic signal control technology that automatically adjusts and coordinates signal timing to accommodate varying traffic volumes. The Traffic21 Initiative has proven to dramatically reduce vehicle emissions and long travel times in the bustling Penn Avenue and Penn Circle intersection - home of East Liberty’s Target store - where vehicle wait time was reduced by an impressive 40%. This technology is the most sophisticated in the world and will soon be deployed to more City intersections. Our foundation community - especially the Henry L. Hillman Foundation, the Heinz Endowments and the R.K. Mellon Foundation - stepped up to fund this initiative, recognizing the positive impact it will have on our City, our region and quite possibly the world. Strong partnerships such as this are vital to our Third Renaissance and better position us to grow more jobs by bringing this innovative technology to market right here in Pittsburgh.
Initiatives like Traffic 21 and our City's first 25-year transportation plan, called MovePGH, helped us to be selected as a recipient of the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge Grant. Today, I welcomed a team of IBM consultants and technology specialists who will spend the next three weeks working with our planners to outline more innovative transportation strategies that will help make Pittsburgh safer, smarter and even more attractive to prospective residents and businesses.
Join the Fight Against Breast Cancer
Join Pittsburgh in the fight against Breast Cancer by purchasing Pink Ribbon Bagels during October at any local Panera Bread. In addition, I encourage our City of Champions to defeat Cleveland in a friendly competition that will help raise thousands of dollars to benefit breast cancer patients. The city that purchases the most Pink Ribbon Bagels in October will receive a $10,000 charity donation!
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Office of Mayor Luke Ravenstahl
512 City County Building | 414 Grant Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
telephone: 412-255-2626 | facsimile: 412-255-2687