Operating Budget Engagement

How to Engage with the Operating Budget

The current and historical City of Pittsburgh Operating Budgets are available here.

  1. Understand the document:
    • The Budget Guide is the very first section of the full operating document and offers insight into how the City of Pittsburgh operates. It explains how money moves through the City in a general sense. This section leads constituents through the City’s accounting structure, major revenue and expenditure categories, the budget creation process, and describes how to interpret other sections of the document.
    • The Budget Calendar is also available in the document and online
    • Published Quarterly Financial Reports allow residents to compare actual expenditures to the final budget
  1. Attend an educational forum:
    • The 2020 Operating Budget Public Forum was held virtually on Wednesday, September 16, 2020 at 6pm
    • Topics included the budget process, tips on how to interpret the budget, the City’s revenue sources, major expenditure categories, current COVID-19 responses, and a short question and answer session with constituents
    • The presentation slides are available here
    • The recorded forum is available to watch on the City Channel’s YouTube page here
  1. Complete the annual Operating Budget survey:
    • The 2021 annual Operating Budget survey is available here until Friday, October 16, 2020
    • Results will be analyzed by OMB staff and will be shared with the Mayor’s Office and Department Directors before the November document is published
    • A summary will also be shared with City Council once they take ownership of the document
  2. Attend Council budget hearings:
    • Each November, the Mayor delivers the State of the City address and presents the budget to City Council
    • After this, the legislating body takes ownership of the pending document
    • The City Clerk schedules meetings with each department, office, and bureau to discuss preliminary plans for the next fiscal year
    • The Clerk posts the hearing schedule on the Meeting Schedule page
    • Constituents have the opportunity to offer public comment during the Citizen Participation hearing;this is an appropriate time to share personal priorities with City officials
  3. Interface with Balancing Act:
    • The Operating Simulation allows constituents to try to balance their own budgets by adjusting various allocations
      • Submitted results will be reviewed by OMB
    • The Tax Receipt tool allows residents to see an unofficial breakdown of how their taxes are spent each year