Is Non-Profit Payment Non-Attainable?

The idea was probably germinating for a long-time, but in September of 2009 the County Executive announced that he would be seeking $4 million from non-profit agencies in the County to help with the budget in 2011 (the Executive stated "it is not in my budget until 2011" and that requests would start with hospitals "because they’re the largest [nonprofits] in the region. It doesn’t mean we’ll stop there").

The line-item for the contribution did indeed make it into the 2011 County budget: in the section titled "Revenue by Object Code with Character Sub-Totals" under Local Unit Revenues there isa line item of $4 million from "non-profits", right below money from the Regional Asset District, the City of Pittsburgh, and the Airport Authority.

Last year as the 2011 budget was being assembled printed reports detailed the scant and secretive details. To the best of anyone’s knowledge that money is not available. In September it was reported that "No deal has been reached to provide those funds, but [the Executive] pledged that an agreement would be signed by year’s end and the money would be available for 2011. He declined to identify any of the nonprofits with whom his administration is talking". In November it was reported the Chief Executive "has been closed-mouth about the status of any negotiations with nonprofits, [but that Council’s finance chair] said he expected the money eventually would be there."

Now state-level changes (the state funds a healthy portion of law enforcement and health and welfare functions in all counties) mean a $15 million gap in the 2011 budget and the status of the $4 million from unidentified non-profits makes that shortfall even more pronounced.

Crucial Decision Time for the SPC

On December 13th the board of the Southwest Pennsylvania Commission (SPC)-which consists of elected and appointed officials responsible for steering planning and transportation priorities for the ten county region-must decide whether it will once again approve robbing Peter to pay Paul. 


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