Thursday, June 24, 2004

Meanwhile in Pittsburgh

I've not blogged much about Pittsburgh's ongoing financial woes for a while because, well, I just don't understand them at all. A few months ago I thought I was getting a handle on them, but then everything seemed to go pear-shaped. At some point there seemed to be at least four, and possibly as many as sixty-one different groups proposing city budgets. At a minimum, the mayor had one, the city council either had one or just didn't like the mayor's, the Act 47 team had one, and there seemed to be one other group that had standing to create a plan. At least they were referred to by a different name.

Now it looks like the Act 47 plan is close to being adopted, although after adoption by the city it still has to be approved by the legislature. One of the key features of the plan is that the Occupational Privilege Tax will be raised from $10 to $145 a year. This is a good thing for the city, and kind of ironic. A great deal of this crisis arose because the suburban county leaders didn't want to let the city raise the OPT to $52/year.