City Controller: Money Problems Looming For Pittsburgh
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – City Controller Michael Lamb has issued his latest findings on the City of Pittsburgh’s financial status and it’s not all good news.
The controller said Pittsburgh’s 2011 surplus of $20 million was a lucky break and may not happen again.
In releasing the financial report, Lamb said the city has money problems looming.
Lamb said the 2011 budget might have been in deficit had it not been for a one-time $10 million payment from the casino and an unexpected $10 million pension payment from the Commonwealth.
In short, the city is still spending more money than it takes in.
“We continue a situation where expenses outpace revenues,” Lamb said.
The controller said population losses mean lost revenue even though services to those who live and work here, especially from the suburbs, continue.
“When we have fewer and fewer people living here, it creates a real strain on the City of Pittsburgh. We at one time had 700,000 people in the City of Pittsburgh. Today, based on the last Census, we are a city of 300,000,” Lamb said.
Lamb said the city needs to attract more residents and step up the enforcement of current tax laws.
“Arguably, we are leaving $5 to $10 million in revenue on the table every year because we’re not collecting all the taxes that we should,” Lamb said.
Lamb warns the city’s pension crisis is a long way from solved.
“Now, we’re taking a step backwards and unfunding pension again,” Lamb said.