The Steel City, Pittsburgh, PA, is ranked number 65 in the nation for fiscal health. This is based on a new report of the financial condition of the 75 most populous cities. The report covers the cities’ 2019 comprehensive annual financial reports, which are, in fact, not reviewed on this scale by any other organization.
The Steel City Holds Fond Memories for its Residents
One can hope Pittsburgh, PA will get back on its fiscal foot so to speak and the city will prosper and thrive. My mother is from Pittsburgh, PA and when she was alive always spoke fondly of her childhood memories there. She liked the weather and the people in the community. My mother never went back after she left the city as a young woman but told me stories of her time there. Mom was the product of Russian immigrants and they came off the ship in Ellis Island with others hopeful of a new start and life in America. So, my grandparents, Harry and Esther Bloom moved to Pittsburgh, PA. My mother Evelyn Ruth Bloom was born in 1932 in Pittsburgh, PA.
Pittsburgh Needs $1.6 Billion to get out of the Red
A nonprofit government finance watchdog group, the analysis by Truth in Accounting (TIA), needs $1.6 billion to get out of the red. Or $16,000 from each of its taxpayers.
Pittsburgh owned $2.2 billion. The city only has $563.2 million to pay those bills after capital and restricted assets are left out. This is according to the watchdog’s annual Financial State of the Cities report. In fact, what occurred was a $1.6 billion shortfall or a $16,000 Taxpaper Burden. This is when each taxpayer’s burden to share of the municipal debt after the city’s available assets have been tapped.
TIA’s Taxpayer Burden
Incorporating both assets and liabilities is the TIA’s Taxpayer Burden indicator. This includes all retirement liabilities. It’s more important than ever that governments be transparent about this financial situation, especially with COVID-19. A strong and healthy balance sheet would cause governments to have confidence in moving fast and strongly to address COVID-19. In the final analysis, Pittsburgh, PA, did not have enough money to pay its bills. That is the bottom line, and why it, unfortunately, received a D grade for its fiscal health.