PITTSBURGH - The city needs millions of dollars, but Mayor Bill Peduto has vowed not to raise taxes. Target 11 investigator Rick Earle asked the mayor some tough questions about where he will get the cash.
Peduto told Earle on Tuesday that he has a five-year plan to turn the city around. He said raising taxes is a last resort.
The pothole-plagued roads in Pittsburgh, according to Peduto, are not the result of a bad winter, but bad decisions.
“There’s a reason our streets are falling apart, and it’s not because of last year’s winter. It’s because we’ve ignored the problem for a decade,” Peduto said.
Peduto said paving roads and other functions of government won’t get done without some tough choices.
Facing a $60 million deficit next year, Peduto proposed raising revenue and cutting back.
He said the extra cash could come from among other sources, parking meter revenue, and increased contributions from nonprofits.
As for cuts, Peduto said he wouldn’t elaborate, but said no department will go unscathed.
“Let’s be clear about this, we are not going to get by this type of deficit without making cuts. It’s going to have to occur in every department,” Peduto said.
In a city that already has some of the highest taxes in the state, Peduto said another hike would be asking too much.
“Taxes are going to be the last thing we look at,” he said. “Just raising taxes to solve this is just as bad as borrowing money to solve it like we did for decades. So that will be the last place we look.”
Peduto said he will present his plan to City Council later this month. They will then hold public hearings, and the plan must be approved by the state by June 30.