Pittsburgh's City Council late last week was expected to override a veto by Mayor Luke Ravenstahl of a bill that would raise fees on city-owned parking garages to fund pension costs.

The city's pension fund is about 30% funded. That will trigger a takeover of the fund by the state on Jan. 1 if the city doesn't find a way to get the level up to at least 50%.

The increased parking fees would provide $7.8 million to the pension fund in fiscal 2011 and would steadily increase annually to $44.6 million, according to the bill that was introduced on Tuesday.

Earlier this month, the City Council rejected a plan to enter into a long-term lease with private investors in return for an up-front payment. The city owns a parking garage, five street lots, and parking meters that are managed by the Pittsburgh Parking Authority.

If the Pennsylvania Municipal Retirement System takes over the city's pension fund, it will increase the annual contributions the city must make because it uses a lower assumed rate of return than the city does.

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