Monday, September 19, 2011
Things that confuse me.
Well, there you have it. The go away and come back later answer on the City of Pittsburgh’s pension ‘solution’ of the day. (Trib, PG). As a commenter here pointed out in the immediately previous post, the first payment from parking revenue into the pension fund is due a week from this Friday. Does the city even have that much free cash to ship over?
On to other things I guess. More confusing things: Increasing property tax to send $3.25 million a year over to the Carnegie Library necessitates a city-wide referendum, but sending $14-$26 million (‘irrevocably’ no less) a year to the pension fund is a simple vote of council in December?
How would the new incremental library tax be impacted by new property assessments? Does it get adjusted for anti-windfall legislation, or will it remain an extra 0.25 mills and thus likely wind up being a lot larger revenue stream? I am pretty sure the nominal tax base for the city in aggregate is going up, especially in nominal terms.
If the city decides to alter the millage for the library tax, then does the Carnegie Library have some means to sue the city to get it back. In other words, is it irrevocable in the sense of the parking tax diversion (see first point above).
So now that PPG is being sold according to news accounts… is the City of Pittsburgh again going to be left out in the cold on the potential transfer tax that would bring in. Is anyone working on the issue we brought up in the spring? A rhetorical question I know. (update: maybe city is going to get a transfer tax out of this deal. Stay tuned).
The notional price is only listed as a $214 million investment. So if there is a potential 3% transfer tax (total for city and school district not including additional to state) out there, the ‘lost’ revenue is on the order of $6.5 million.. or nearly 2 years of the new library tax revenues.
And from last week… If you missed the big public finance news out of Jefferson County where they also seem to have conflated all fiscal issues into their water and sewer system. Looks like JP Morgan is willing to take a big haircut and restructure bonds they set up with their county sewer system. Seems like the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer System could have used some similar consideration for their variable rate bonds causing such expense and consternation. Maybe we didn't ask nice enough? or maybe we asked too nicely? Who knows?
But I confuse easily. and yeah, I changed the title. The allusion just kind of punched me in the nose.