Councilman: Allegheny County budget will start fight
Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald's 2014 budget presentation will trigger a fight over taxes, one county councilman predicts.
“Once Mr. Fitzgerald releases his budget, all hell is going to break loose,” said Councilman Bill Robinson, D-Hill District, chairman of the budget and finance committee. “I believe that we need $50 million of new revenues to address the county's fiscal challenges in 2014 and put us in a real serious conversation of how we get beyond 2014.”
Robinson said he has yet to hear a “bright idea” of how to raise the additional $50 million. He is going to push for a rainy-day fund and to increase the county's millage.
Council decreased the property tax rate 17 percent in December because property values increased under last year's court-ordered reassessment. The decrease was necessary because state law requires that reassessments be revenue-neutral.
Robinson, Council President Charles Martoni and Councilman John DeFazio are meeting with Fitzgerald before Tuesday's meeting for a briefing on the budget.
Fitzgerald did not release details ahead of the presentation.
“We're going to try to make sure we hold the line on spending and keep things fiscally sound and try to prevent tax increases for the residents of Allegheny County,” Fitzgerald said during his quarterly address to council last month.
County Council passed the 2013 budget of $799.4 million in early December. It included a $447,000 cut to Controller Chelsa Wagner's office — the only row office that lost funding.
Aaron Aupperlee is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7986 or email@example.com.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.