Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Workable Budget the City's Spending Plan Is Limited, Yet Solid

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Workable Budget the City's Spending Plan Is Limited, Yet Solid

Article excerpt

Ask Pittsburgh residents what they look for in a mayoral budget proposal, and their first response is likely to be, "No tax increases."

Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's 2013 budget gives the right answer. His $469 million spending plan would keep property taxes at their current level, a fundamental goal that the mayor correctly recognizes. Any attempt to hike taxes on property owners at this point would be detrimental to the city.

The spending in his proposed budget is just $10 million more than the expected expenditures for this year. Likewise, the mayor's five- year financial projection, required in conjunction with the budget by the state Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority, forecasts modest spending increases ranging from 2 percent to 3.6 percent between now and 2017.

The city's annual fund balance, now $48.6 million or 10.6 percent of the budget total, would go down in each of the next five years, but even that is not as problematic as it may seem. …

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