See how much Pittsburgh has spent and on what with these online tools

By Bob Bauder

Want to know how much money Pittsburgh has spent so far this year and where that money is going?

Pittsburgh Controller Michael Lamb on Friday announced the creation of three new applications on his Fiscal Focus Pittsburgh website that offer a look at the city’s financial operations.

They include:

• Budget Explorer, which provides details of revenue sources and line item operating expenditures;

• Checkbook PGH, a list of all goods and services purchased by Pittsburgh;

• Payroll Explorer, which provides information on the city workforce, including wages, benefits and demographics.

“It’s a detailed view of our financial situation,” Lamb said. “It’s really unprecedented transparency into city financing, and it’s a fun tool to play around with. Our goal here is to engage the citizenry and to educate the citizenry and to get people talking about city finance in new and different ways.”

To date, Pittsburgh has spent $221.7 million through 20,832 transactions. Most of that — about $192 million — went to employee salaries and benefits and repayment of debt.

The city’s operating budget for 2019 is $568 million. It’s capital budget is $132.9 million.

The applications are interactive and allow users to examine city finances in multiple ways, including through charts and graphs.

Lamb said his office staff, with help of Seattle software company Socrata, updated the website, which has been online for several years. Socrata was paid $35,000 for the services, Lamb said.

“As we find things interesting and noteworthy, we’ll continue to populate this site with some of that charting,” he said.