The good, the bad.... and the sugary
Their Pittsburgh synopsis:
Thanks to deep budget-cutting under state fiscal watchdogs, Pittsburgh started fiscal 2010 on January 1 with a modest surplus. But flat revenues and high labor costs soon flipped the city into the red, and by mid-May it was projecting a slight deficit through the end of 2010. The city’s pension funds lie at the heart of the problem, creating a huge extra cost for the general fund. The pensions had a funded ratio of 34 percent in 2009, the lowest among all 13 cities.So we are like Splenda-burgh. Half bad calories and half some mysterious chemical that will save us from ourselves.
Struggling to prevent a state takeover of its pension system, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and city leaders have been exploring several potential revenue sources to present to state legislators for approval. The ideas included leasing about 20 city-owned garages, raising the voluntary payments to the city made by nonprofit institutions, privatizing the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority, raising a tax on earnings, hiking parking fines, and imposing a sugar-sweetened drink tax.