The city often claims “most livable city” titles, including recent awards by Randy McNally (2007), Forbes (2010), and The Economist (2011).
- The 2011 operating budget was approximately $456 million. Of this, the largest expenditures were benefits (32%), public safety (29.5%), debt (19.5%), other government (12%) and public works (7%). Of employee benefits, the overall $133 million, 40% is allocated to healthcare, 38% to pensions and 16% to unemployment compensation. Between 2003-2010, pension costs increased by 85%.
- The city pension funding ratio was down to 27 percent, when funding for pensions are recommended to be at 80 percent. As a result the city is selling its parking garage and meters for $300 million, to keep the state from seizing its pension funds. The sale will also increase the pension funding ration to 50 percent. Additionally, the city is facing $80 million in debt payments annually, put the city into a real financial crisis.
Pittsburgh received $348,726,152.91 in federal stimulus funding through 428 grants and contracts.
Public employee salaries
- See also: Pittsburgh employee salaries
- See also: Pennsylvania public pensions
Pension costs increased from 2003-2010 85%, by over $10 million last year alone. The city reports that over the past six years, the MMO has increased by $30 million, while state aid has decreased by $3 million.
In 2010, Pittsburgh had to raise approximately $220 million in assets in its retirement plan to cover 50% of the plan’s obligations by Dec. 31 to avoid a state takeover of the pension fund pursuant to state law. At the time, the city’s retirement plan covered 28% of the assets necessary to cover its obligations. The state takeover would compel Pittsburgh to make the payments needed to assure pensions for 8,000 active and retired employees. On Nov. 4, 2010, the state's actuary informed the Pittsburgh city council that, if the state takes over the Pittsburgh pension fund, the city will be forced to pay about $3.6 billion over the next 30 years to ensure the fund's solvency.
By 2011, the city met its goals by increasing parking garage and meter fees and direct that money into the pension fund.
In 2011, real estate taxes accounted for 29% of the revenue collected, parking taxes 10%, earned income tax 16%, payroll preparation tax 10%, and other taxes 9% of the $456 million in revenue.
|Transparency grading process|
- The most current budget is listed.
- Budgets are archived for over 15 years.
- Administrative officials
- Department heads are listed for each department.
- Contact information for administrative officials is provided including a mailing address, phone number, and contact forms.
- Elected officials
- Elected officials are listed with a mailing address, phone number and contact form.
- The most recent audit is posted.
- Audits dating back to 2001 are available.
- Public records
- The public information officer is identified and maintained by the Open Records Officer. This person provides a mailing address, phone number and personalized email.
- A public records form is provided.
- A fee schedule for documents is provided.
- Permits and zoning
- Elected officials
- Personalized emails addresses are not provided for city council members.
- Administrative officials
- Personalized emails addresses are not provided.
- No information on membership in lobbying associations.
- Pittsburgh facts
- Budget analysis
- Watchdog, Distressed cities balking on bills, contracts, Sept. 3, 2010
- See Powerpoint presentation
- The Wall Street Journal “State Takeover Of Pittsburgh Pension Could Triple Payments” Nov. 4, 2010
- The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette “$3.6 billion tab for city pensions if state takes over” Nov. 4, 2010
- "Pittsburgh, Penn. avoids state takeover of pensions," Reuters, September 19, 2011
- City of Pittsburgh, Budgets, Accessed: Feb 17, 2013
- City of Pittsburgh, Staff Directory, Accessed: Feb 17, 2013
- City of Pittsburgh, Elected Officials, Accessed: Feb 17, 2013
- City of Pittsburgh, Meeting Calendar, Agendas, and Minutes, Accessed: Feb 17, 2013
- City of Pittsburgh, Meeting Videos, Accessed: Feb 17, 2013
- City of Pittsburgh, Audits, Accessed: Feb 17, 2013
- City of Pittsburgh, Bids, Accessed: Feb 17, 2013
- City of Pittsburgh, Contracts, Accessed: Feb 17, 2013
- City of Pittsburgh, Public Records, Accessed: Feb 17, 2013
- City of Pittsburgh, Finance, Accessed: Feb 17, 2013
- City of Pittsburgh, Pay Taxes Online, Accessed: Feb 17, 2013
- City of Pittsburgh, Zoning, Accessed: Feb 17, 2013
- City of Pittsburgh, Building Permits, Accessed: Feb 17, 2013