Allegheny County’s $1B budget includes no tax increase |

Allegheny County’s $1B budget includes no tax increase

Jamie Martines
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Allegheny County Courthouse on March 20, 2019.

Allegheny County Council voted unanimously Tuesday to adopt the proposed $1 billion county budget for 2020.

The budget does not include a property tax increase.

The $959.8 million operating budget is $27.4 million larger than the 2019 operating budget of $932.4 million, a 2.9% increase.

The $100.1 million capital budget includes money for 61 infrastructure and capital improvement projects. Planned work includes repairing roads, bridges and the City-County Building roof, along with landslide repairs and prevention.

“I’m proud of the work that we have done to improve the quality of life in the county while also providing resources and services that our residents rely upon,” County Executive Rich Fitzgerald said in a statement. “Our work is not done, but with the continued support of Council and our employees, we will continue to make improvements that benefit all residents.”

The county millage rate will stay at 4.73 mills.

The version of the budget passed Tuesday did not include major revisions over the proposal submitted by Fitzgerald this fall, said Councilman Paul Klein, D-Point Breeze, who chairs the Budget and Finance Committee

Highlights include creating two new departments. The Information Technology Department will handle computer, technology and website needs previously handled by a division of the Administrative Services Department.

A restructuring and expansion of the Minority, Women and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Department will create the Equity and Inclusion Department, which will be responsible for conducting outreach to support business owners who are women, minorities, veterans, people with disabilities and people who are members of the LGBTQ community.

Other offices, including the District Attorney, Sheriff, Controller and Treasurer, also are receiving increases, mainly to cover staffing needs.

The Common Pleas Court will use its 2020 budget to start updating the courts’ technology systems and to improve security throughout court’s facilities.

Council also voted Tuesday to amend capital budgets for years 2007 to 2014 in order to reallocate $6.8 million worth of funds that were left over from yearslong capital projects.

“The majority of these, even though they’re over multiple years, are bridge projects that we got reimbursed by either the commonwealth or the federal government, and that there are still balances,” County Manager William McKain told council.

Those funds will be used to fund road improvement projects, combat landslides and to rehabilitate and update county buildings, including courtrooms.

The new Information Technology Department also will receive a portion of those funds, McKain said.

The final county council meeting of the year will be held at 5 p.m. Dec. 10 in the Gold Room of the Allegheny County Courthouse.

Meetings will resume in January with the swearing in of three new members: Bethany Hallam, D-Ross, who will replace at-large representative John DeFazio, D-Shaler; Tom Duerr, D-Bethel Park, who will replace District 5 representative Sue Means, R-Bethel Park; and Olivia Bennett, D-Northview Heights, who will replace District 13 representative Denise Ranalli Russell, D-Brighton Heights.

Jamie Martines is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jamie at 724-850-2867, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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