What is Pittsburgh’s Debt Load?
A quick perusal of the City Controller’s Popular Annual Financial Report shows that long term debt has fallen from $787 million in 2005 to $680 million today-more than $100 million in five years. The City has issued debt just once in the amount of $47 million in recent years.
It is doing so in order to get the debt level down to more manageable levels. Per capita debt-depending on which population figure one uses, the 334k count from the 2000 Census or the 311k count from the most recent Census estimate-stands at over $2,000. Higher than Newark, higher than Rochester, higher than St. Louis.
Note too that the Controller points out "challenges ahead" as declining population, pension funding, and aging infrastructure. That means smaller tax base, more dollars dedicated to funding current pension participants and paying for retirees, and at the same time trying to avoid borrowing to pay for streets, bridges, and sewers.