Harrisburg mayor to announce state of fiscal crisis


The City of Harrisburg will move into another phase of trying to recover from financial distress by announcing a state of fiscal crisis.

An announcement is scheduled for 1 p.m. Monday at the MLK Government Center.

In a statement, Mayor Eric Papenfuse said, “With the state Legislature’s failure to act Friday to extend Harrisburg’s taxing authority beyond Act 47, the City now faces a looming financial catastrophe that will require immediate implementation of austerity measures to begin to close a projected $12 million budget deficit over the next three years.” 

Act 47 is an oversight program for financially distressed cities.

The mayor and at least one member of the city council want out of the program because of its restrictions.

Exiting the program and keeping the city’s current taxing authority in place, ultimately charging taxpayers the same local services tax and earned income tax, would have reportedly signaled that Harrisburg is doing better and would have allowed the city the ability to refinance a number of things with a lower interest rate, raising the credit score.

The vote on the amendment that was supposed to allow all of that to happen did not take place Friday because House Speaker Mike Turzai never allowed it to be considered.

Turzai has been critical of the city, saying more could have been done to generate revenue and cut expenses. 

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