PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A well-known Philadelphian with expertise in municipal finance has attended his first Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority board meeting, the state created panel that oversees how the city spends its money.

After three-time mayoral candidate Sam Katz was sworn in, he was immediately elected chairman of the PICA Board.

“It’s nice to finally win an election,” Katz said.

The Republican-turned-Democrat, who was appointed by Governor Corbett, says his concerns include a gaping deficit in the city pension fund, and the Nutter Administration’s projections on what it’ll take in from property taxes.

“It looks like in this five-year plan a 10 percent increase in property taxes that are supposed to be temporary seems built-in. That’s an interesting assumption.”

The five member board is currently two short, because Democratic leaders in the state House and Senate have yet to name new appointees.

“I would urge the leaders in the house and senate to get on this. Philadelphia’s clock is ticking,” he said referring the budget cycle.

City Council has to send the Mayor its version of a budget by the end of May. The PICA Board also has to approve a five-year spending plan right after that, but it cannot take action with only three members.

Reported by Steve Tawa, KYW Newsradio

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