Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
May 2, 2011

For the first time 2004, the city of Pittsburgh last year spent more money than it brought in, city Controller Michael Lamb said today as he warned of the pressing need to identify new revenue sources.

The city spent $589 million last year, $12.5 million more than it brought in, according to the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report released by Mr. Lamb.

“This was a different year for Pittsburgh and not a good year for Pittsburgh,” he said,

Pension, debt and fringe benefit costs are the “primary drivers” of the financial pressure, Mr. Lamb said. But tax revenue also was down last year, partly because of the slow economy, he said.

He said another factor affecting finances last year was Pittsburgh City Council’s decision to pump an additional $45 million cash into the ailing pension fund as part of a last-minute attempt to avert a state takeover of the fund.

Mr. Lamb said he remains confident that council’s bailout plan, which also involves earmarking more than $735 million in parking tax revenue over three decades, averted a takeover. He said a report on the fund’s value will be presented at a city pension board meeting next week.