Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Finance Authority Considered

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Finance Authority Considered

Article excerpt

Monroeville Council is considering creating a "conduit authority" that would aid in issuing low-interest bonds to help finance projects by nonprofit organizations.

The Monroeville Finance Authority would work with both the agencies issuing the bonds and the nonprofits; the nonprofits would benefit from a lower interest rate, and the municipality would benefit by collecting fees for assisting the nonprofits in securing the bonds.

The bonds would finance hospitals, independent living facilities, and educational or religious institutions.

Because nonprofit organizations don't pay property taxes, the fees collected by the municipality would help to "mitigate that loss," according to Monroeville solicitor Bruce Dice.

The authority would allow nonprofits to pay the municipality either an up-front fee or a yearly fee over the life of the bond, which would create a revenue stream that could last for decades, Mr. Dice said.

"It becomes a method by which the municipality can ultimately develop another cash stream ... coming into it outside of taxes," he said.

Councilman Bernhard Erb, one of the sponsors of the ordinance, said the authority would encourage health systems such as UPMC and West Penn Allegheny Health System to continue to develop in the municipality.

"It enables them an opportunity to continue to work with us as they've done in the past," he said.

Councilwoman Lois Drumheller said she isn't taking the proposed authority lightly and is researching how the creation of the authority would affect the municipality. She said she has concerns about the cost of funding the authority. …

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