Senator Fontana

Allegheny County – October 28, 2022 – Today, Pennsylvania State Senator Wayne Fontana issued the following statement regarding VisitPittsburgh’s continued advocacy and lobbying in Harrisburg for additional tax dollars:

“I was dismayed to read the statement VisitPittsburgh released today expressing disappointment that the General Assembly did not pass a bill to provide their organization with millions of additional tax dollars.

“There are real concerns in Harrisburg, from both sides of the aisle, about the spending and performance of VisitPittsburgh, which is why the legislation to provide additional public funding was not considered.

“These concerns are why I requested a performance audit of the organization be done by the Allegheny County Controller.

“As a recent Pittsburgh Post-Gazette editorial stated,

‘Transparency is essential for public trust, and the audit should proceed before hotel fees go up. The audit would put the public in the loop, as the debate over additional funding and more fiscally efficient management continues.’

“In short, VisitPittsburgh needs to be transparent and accountable for the millions of tax dollars they already receive before they can add another tax on consumers.

“When the audit is completed and its findings made public, it will then be the appropriate time for all stakeholders to come together for a conversation on a potential Tourism Improvement District (TID).

“Designed correctly, with stakeholder input, TIDs in other cities have proven to be targeted, effective, and beneficial to the community. I look forward to working together on this issue after the audit is complete.”