Friday, September 21, 2007

Ravenstahl Completes Homework

The Mayor submitted his proposed annual budget to the dark overlords of the Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority today.

There will be More details in tomorrow's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but we do want to riff off of one note today.

Included in the revenue estimate is $4.3 million from nonprofit organizations. The mayor said he has received verbal pledges in that amount and is seeking binding commitments.

"The reality of the state law is that now they don't have to give us a dime if they don't want to," he said of the nonprofit groups. (P-G, Rich Lord)

Two ways to skin this cat.

1) Would Luke be in favor of changing said state law? He has shown a passion for lobbying and organizing at the state level, and at least one close political friend in Harrisburg is all about changing this law.

2) The reality of city law is that we don't have to let any nonprofit build a new barbecue pit if we don't want to. So maybe we should be using that leverage to strike a more favorable accord.

UPDATE: the Burgher's back and you're gonna be in trouble, HEY LAI, HEY LAI...


  1. From Jack Owen's testimony back in August:

    "Pennsylvania is home for over 61,000 public charities, as defined under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Of these 61,000 charities, nearly ninety percent (90%) have budgets under $500,000 (this includes PANO and the majority of PANO’s members). The ten percent (10%) of charities with budgets over $500,000, (less than 6,900 charities) generate nearly ninety-eight (98%) of the nonprofit sector’s revenue in Pennsylvania. The smaller charities (the 90%) generate just over two percent (2%) of the nonprofit sector’s total revenue, and hold an inconsequential 5.6% of the sector’s total assets. Changes to Act 55 could make administration much more difficult for these smaller charitable organizations and could force resources to be diverted from their missions."

    I think it is important to distinguish what we mean by "non-profit". There are quite a few orgz. that would be devastated by an unintelligent and poorly defined alteration to act 55.

  2. Well, we are not in favor of unintelligence.

    Right after Jack Owen said that, he was basically scolded by the panel of Senators. They were of the opinion that the problem of how to provide fire, police, paramedic, and sewage services to all these nonprofits was just a teensy bit bigger than how to provide office supplies for their little trade association.

    As we get closer to amending Act 55, we'll be hearing more and worse nightmare scenarios based on fear of change and uncertainty. Let's consider them seriously, but let's not get totally bamboozled, either.

  3. I'm on the same page - but a proposal on required contributions would have to factor in a fair amount per organizational capacity.

    The powers that be may just expect the foundation community to ramp up their contributions to the non-profits that would take a hit, but this is no guarantee.

    Go Steelers!