Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl released his proposed 2014 operating and capital budget Tuesday.
The $480 million budget and five-year plan is balanced, and it contains no tax increases or layoffs.
Before getting into specifics of the proposed spending plan, Ravenstahl outlined successes of his time as mayor. He said in the last seven years Pittsburgh has received 10 bond rating upgrades, and its investment status has moved from junk to grade A status.
“Despite a national economic recession, we paid down a quarter of a billion dollars of the city’s past debts,” Ravenstahl said. “While other governments were increasing taxes and laying off workers, we balanced our budgets, kept our streamlined workforce, and in fact, we cut taxes.”
Over the course of the five-year plan, the proposed budget commits $25 million to a pay-as-you-go capital budget and $25 million to the pension fund.
“The $52.5 million dollar capital budget allows us to deliver the highest quality services to the people of Pittsburgh,” Ravenstahl said. “We will continue to invest in public safety, public works and parks and recreation to make the city of Pittsburgh even more livable for everyone.”
Ravenstahl said the plan commits nearly $30 million to projects such as spray parks, senior centers and ball fields, among other things.
“We remain committed to modernizing the city’s fleet and will invest an additional $5 million toward this initiative,” Ravenstahl said. “We will dedicate another $7 million into improving our streets through a robust paving program, and we won’t forget that our residents deserve neighborhoods with the best amenities.”
The proposed budget has been approved by Act 47 and the Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority, the agency that oversees city finances. City Council has until Dec. 31 to pass the mayor’s budget or make modifications.