Visit Pittsburgh disputes audit from Allegheny County Controller

An audit by the Allegheny County Controller made public Thursday found the agency responsible for Pittsburgh’s tourism advertising failed to stick to accurate financial management practices, and demands to raise transparency.

Pay a visit to Pittsburgh, which is dependable for tourism advertising in the location, receives much more than 90% of its funding from tax pounds, according to County Controller Corey O’Connor.

“They’re acquiring taxpayer dollars,” O’Connor explained to WESA. “This is a noteworthy expenditure of taxpayer dollars that wants to be accounted for.”

In accordance to the controller’s report, Take a look at Pittsburgh deposited private and community funds into the exact financial institution account and did not correctly track the use of general public funds, which includes resources obtained from the Allegheny County resort tax.

Stop by Pittsburgh mentioned it disagrees with the conclusions, and claimed the report contains “factual problems, deceptive information and facts and the selective omission of relevant facts.”

The agency’s president and CEO Jerad Bachar said Check out Pittsburgh’s accounting procedure is “in complete compliance with GAAP [Generally Accepted Accounting Principles] and FASB [Financial Accounting Standards Board] guidelines.”

The audit also endorses Stop by Pittsburgh reduce its reserves, which at the moment sit just underneath $5.3 million.

That is larger than reserves in comparable towns like Baltimore, the controller’s office environment stated. Baltimore’s reserves hover around $840,000.

But Bachar explained the reserves provide multiple uses, and aided the business make it via the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re fully confident that our methods are quite significantly in tips, very considerably within just appropriate specifications,” he said.

Bachar also insinuated the audit was prompted by political calculations, which O’Connor denied.

“We are looking at straight details. We are not heading to make this stuff up,” O’Connor said. “We are peer reviewed.”

Point out Sen. Wayne Fontana requested the audit in September 2022 mainly because he had “grave concerns” about how Go to Pittsburgh was handling “millions of bucks in community county lodge space rental tax revenues.”

Fontana is the chairman of the board for the Sports and Exhibition Authority of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County, which owns Acrisure Stadium, PPG Paints Arena, PNC Park, and the David L. Lawrence Conference Centre.

He also opposed an more rate on Allegheny County hotel rentals that would have boosted Stop by Pittsburgh revenues.

Bachar mentioned Go to Pittsburgh will take into account some of the controller’s other recommendations.

Browse the comprehensive audit and Check out Pittsburgh’s reaction right here.

Minnie Arwood

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