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Mayor Ed Gainey says allowing cities to set their own gun laws would reduce violence

Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey in his office on June 8, 2022.
Nick Konopka
90.5 WESA
Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey in his office on June 8, 2022.

On today’s episode of The Confluence:

Mayor Gainey addresses gun violence in the city
(0:00 - 8:27)

Last Friday, Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey unveiled his administration’s plan to address gun violence in the city. The city has had several highly publicized shootings this year, most notably at a house party over Easter weekend, where two teenagers were killed. More recently, a drive-by shooting downtown took the life of an 21-month-old child.

“We holistically looked at the approach to find out what is the best way to combat this uptick in violence. And we know that is happening throughout America. But right now, we're focused on the city,” says Gainey.

The state Supreme Court could soon hear cases arguing that municipalities should enact their own gun laws. Gainey says allowing Pittsburgh to set its own firearm regulations would result in a reduction in gun violence.

Pittsburgh Police have dispatched more officers to the South Side in recent weeks, and Gainey says he will be in the neighborhood late Saturday and early Sunday to observe the area firsthand.

Municipal property tax revenues are stagnating in Allegheny County
(8:31- 22:30)

According to Zillow, home sales prices in the Pittsburgh region have increased by 14.5% over the last year. But that doesn’t necessarily mean municipalities are raking in higher property tax revenues. A report by Public Sourceindicates that one in three municipalities in Allegheny County have stagnant or even declining real estate revenues.

“What if your tax base is anchored largely by a single gigantic mall and a bunch of retail properties clustered around it? And what if that mall goes down the tubes like some of them have?” ask Rich Lord, managing editor at PublicSource. “Well, we've seen the mall owners then appeal their assessments, and they argue that their properties aren't worth what they used to, and they win.”

Lord reports that some municipalities are now compensating for the loss in revenue by raising property taxes, to the dismay of some homeowners.

The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s daily news program. Tune in Monday to Thursday at 9 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. to hear newsmakers and innovators take an in-depth look at stories important to the Pittsburgh region. Find more episodes of The Confluence here or wherever you get your podcasts

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