The mission of the Authority, as stated in its enabling legislation, is as follows:
Policy.–It is hereby declared to be a public policy of the Commonwealth to exercise its retained sovereign powers with regard to taxation, debt issuance and matters of Statewide concern in a manner calculated to foster the fiscal integrity of cities of the first class to assure that these cities provide for the health, safety and welfare of their citizens; pay principal and interest owed on their debt obligations when due; meet financial obligations to their employees, vendors and suppliers; and provide for proper financial planning procedures and budgeting practices. The inability of a city of the first class to provide essential services to its citizens as a result of a fiscal emergency is hereby determined to affect adversely the health, safety and welfare not only of the citizens of that municipality but also of other citizens in this Commonwealth.
(1) It is the intent of the General Assembly to:
(i) provide cities of the first class with the legal tools with which such cities
can eliminate budget deficits that render them unable to perform essential municipal services;
(ii) create an authority that will enable cities of the first class to access capital markets for deficit elimination and seasonal borrowings to avoid default on existing obligations and chronic cash shortages that will disrupt the delivery of municipal services;
(iii) foster sound financial planning and budgetary practices that will address the underlying problems which result in such deficits for cities of the first class, which city shall be charged with the responsibility to exercise efficient and accountable fiscal practices, such as:
(A) increased managerial accountability;
(B) consolidation or elimination of inefficient city programs;
(C) recertification of tax-exempt properties;
(D) increased collection of existing tax revenues;
(E) privatization of appropriate city services;
(F) sale of city assets as appropriate;
(G) improvement of procurement practices including competitive
bidding procedures; and
(H) review of compensation and benefits of city employees; and
(iv) exercise its powers consistent with the rights of citizens to home rule and self government.
(2) The General Assembly further declares that this legislation is intended to remedy the fiscal emergency confronting cities of the first class through the implementation of sovereign powers of the Commonwealth with respect to taxation, indebtedness and matters of Statewide concern. To safeguard the rights of the citizens to the electoral process and home rule, the General Assembly intends to exercise its power in an appropriate manner with the elected officers of cities of the first class.
(3) The General Assembly further declares that this legislation is intended to authorize the imposition of a tax or taxes to provide a source of funding for an intergovernmental cooperation authority to enable it to assist cities of the first class and to incur debt of such authority for such purposes; however, the General Assembly intends that such debt shall not be a debt or liability of the Commonwealth or a city of the first class nor shall debt of the authority payable from and secured by such source of funding create a charge directly or indirectly against revenues of the Commonwealth or city of the first class.