Municipalities in Allegheny County Holding Own with Pension Plans

In our ongoing analysis and review of the financial conditions of Allegheny County municipalities, we take a look at the health of pension plans.  Much has been made of the shortfall of Pittsburgh’s pension funding and how the City averted a state takeover by pledging parking tax revenues to raise those ratios to state accepted levels (Policy Brief Volume 10, Number 57).  But how are the smaller municipalities faring with their pensions?  Are they facing similar issues as did the City?  The following analysis takes a more in-depth look.

 

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Population Changes in Allegheny County Municipalities: 2000 to 2010

In last week’s Policy Brief (Volume 11, Number 56), we documented the per capita spending and revenues for most of Allegheny County’s municipalities noting the high, low and average values for several spending and revenue components. We also found a strong correlation between population count and total general fund spending and revenues. 

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An Updated Look at Municipal Spending in Allegheny County

Local government is perhaps the most important to its residents, yet many are unaware of how much their municipality collects in revenues and spends on services.  In 2010 we started the first of a series that takes a look at the per capita spending and revenue levels of Allegheny County’s municipalities.  Last year we looked at the 2008 Municipal Annual Audit and Financial Reports to compare the per capita values and noted the highs and lows.  This year we look at the 2009 Reports, the most recent available, to provide an update.  This year’s report covers 123 of the 129 smaller municipalities that comprise Allegheny County.  We also update the population data from the 2009 estimates to the 2010 Census count[1]

 

 

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Municipal Spending in Allegheny County: The High and the Low

With municipalities across Allegheny County setting their budgets for the upcoming year, several are patting themselves on the back for not raising taxes.  That is a good thing but it would be even better if taxes could be reduced, especially in communities where per resident spending is much higher than the municipality average in the County.  To see which communities are high spenders and which are comparatively low spenders we obtained data from each municipality’s Municipal Annual Audit and Financial Report and use that to compare per capita spending across the County[1].  The most recent municipal data available is for 2008 and a full list of the municipal spending categories can be viewed on our website.  Population data is taken from the Census Bureau’s 2009 estimates. 

 

 

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