Peduto proposes $606 million operating budget for 2020 with no real estate tax increase |

Peduto proposes $606 million operating budget for 2020 with no real estate tax increase

Bob Bauder

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto on Tuesday released a 2020 budget proposal that increases operational spending by about $31 million and maintains the current real estate tax rate.

The mayor’s spending plans include $606 million for daily operations and $109 million for capital improvements.

The operating budget is up from about $575 million in 2019 mainly because of a “quirk” in the payroll calendar, according to spokesman Tim McNulty. He said city employees typically receive 26 paychecks in a year, but will receive 27 in 2020. He said the quirk happens about once every 10 years.

“(The Office of Management and Budget) has known this for years and has been socking away money to pay the extra expense,” he said in a statement.

The real estate tax rate will remain at 8.06 mills in 2020, according to the proposal, but a tax on property sales is going up. City Council in 2017 authorized the increase to fund housing options for families living at or near the poverty line.

The realty transfer tax will jump from 4.5 percent to 5 percent in January.

Spending on public safety would continue to increase in 2020 with an additional $10.5 million going to police, $11 million to firefighters and $1.2 million to paramedics. Police are budgeted at $115 million, fire at $87 million and paramedics at $24 million.

Pittsburgh anticipates borrowing $50 million in 2020 for future capital improvements.

About 62 percent of the $109 million capital budget would go to engineering and construction and mainly pay for infrastructure improvements.

Street improvements are the largest capital expenditure with $17.8 million dedicated to paving and $20 million to the city’s complete streets program. Complete streets includes such upgrades as traffic signaling and intersection improvements.

The official budget will be sent to city council during the second week of November. Council has until the end of the year to approve the budget plans.

Bob Bauder is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bob at 412-765-2312, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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