Allegheny County’s recent reassessment process has been a clear example of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s broken property tax reassessment system. Pennsylvania is one of only a handful of states that doesn’t require regular, professional, standardized property tax reassessments and the disastrous results of that failure are apparent all around us. Going decades without reassessments and then being forced into them via lawsuits is a recipe for failure and that is just what we have witnessed – failure to follow national standards in conducting a reassessment; failure to protect low- and moderate-income homeowners and senior citizens; and failure to produce equitable results that reflect real changes in property value without burdening taxpayers. Leaders of the State, the County, and the City fought against the harmful, judicially-mandated reassessment but we lost the fight. We have to work with leaders in Harrisburg to make sure that this never happens again and to put in place a system that is fair, equitable, and protects property owners from being taxed out of their homes.
The City of Pittsburgh is the population and economic center of Allegheny County and tens of thousands of Allegheny County residents come to the city every day to work, visit restaurants, and attend events. The city and county are inherently linked in many ways, including in many of the challenges we face. Issues like the water quality of our rivers and streams, the flooding that plagues many of our neighborhoods, the funding of our public transportation system, the assessment of property taxes, and economic development planning require close cooperation and good working partnerships between officials at the city and county levels. As Mayor, I will build on existing relationships and create new ones to strengthen our partnership with the county to the benefit of all residents of Pittsburgh and the region.
Pittsburgh City Councilman Patrick Dowd will endorse his colleague Bill Peduto for Mayor today during a 9:30 a.m. press conference on the portico of the City County Building, stating need for next mayor to be able to work with all levels of government.
“Never before has it been more crucial for city and county government to work shoulder to shoulder on issues such as water and sewer system reinvestment, transportation and economic development,” Dowd states as the foundation for his endorsement.
Pittsburgh was built on the business of building things. Our industrial economy propelled us to become an economic and political powerhouse and laid the groundwork for a middle class that sustained the city for generations. Though we all know the terrible story of how that industrial glory turned to decades of tough, painful times for families across the region, we can write a new chapter today and bring back good quality jobs making quality goods. Pittsburgh is well positioned to become a center for manufacturing of high-tech goods that will be in demand across the country and the world. As Mayor, I will make it a priority to bring new companies to our city and create hundreds of good jobs for everyone – from people with PhDs to people with GEDs.
Despite our region’s reputation as a bit overcast, we have vast untapped solar energy potential and a dedicated group of solar manufacturers and installers both small and large. However, Allegheny County is one of the most fractionalized governments in the country and, with well over 100 local governments with their own rules and regulations, it can be very difficult for these companies to market their solar panels and have them installed. This presents us with a great opportunity to work collaboratively with environmental organizations, labor unions, solar manufacturers and installers, and leaders from all of the County’s municipalities to find ways to standardize regulations for solar panels, while protecting the interests of residents.
In an effort to protect residents in Pittsburgh and other cities throughout Pennsylvania, Bill Peduto is calling on the Pennsylvania Municipal League’s Core Communities in Crisis Task Force to urge the General Assembly to halt an effort to amend the PA Constitution. Peduto is organizing the group to rally against Senate Bill 4 and demand tax fairness.
Our region’s abundance of water has played a vital role in our history. The confluence of rivers made for a natural site for both early trading posts and military forts. Our rivers were critical to early glass manufacturing and iron production. The development of the steel industry was dependent not only on access to coal, iron ore, and limestone via water transportation, but also on the abundance of that water for cooling and metal manufacturing. But, as manufacturing disappeared as a force in this region, the importance of our rivers diminished as an asset for economic development. The same pattern repeated itself throughout the Rust Belt and the Sun Belt emerged as an economic hotbed. Now, the Sun Belt is facing a crisis — a water crisis.
VIBRANT PITTSBURGH OFFERS MINI-GRANTS TO AFFINITY GROUPS TO HELP GROW DIVERSITY IN THE REGION’S WORKFORCE
Vibrant Pittsburgh is an organization which helps to enable a more diverse workforce because they believe that a more diverse and talented workforce means a more vibrant future for the Pittsburgh region. They are currently accepting applications from qualifying nonprofit Affinity Groups in the Pittsburgh region for mini-grant funding. These grants have a value of up to $7,500. Affinity Groups may be community-based and university student organizations, as well as corporate initiatives and groups (i.e., Employee Resource Groups, ERGs) which bring together people with a common interest and/or background, including race, ethnicity, culture, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability, etc.
Pittsburgh’s Veterans Day Parade is one of the largest in the country. This year, the parade will be held on Saturday, November 10th, instead of on Veterans Day on November 11th (as it has been done in the past). The parade will also take a new route. From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
[B]eginning at Liberty Avenue and Grant Street, near the Greyhound bus terminal, proceeding down Liberty, turning left onto Stanwix Street and right onto the Boulevard of the Allies, where the reviewing stand will be located.
ReEnergize Pgh is a community-based initiative by GTECH Strategies for Allegheny County seeking to increase residential energy efficiency — and in the process — save residents money, help to create jobs, and improve the quality of our air. ReEnergize Pgh focuses on equipping and informing residents about home energy efficiency. Other partners in the program include the city, the county, the Breathe Project and other public and private organizations.