As was foretold, we've added advertisements to the forums! If you have questions, or if you encounter any bugs, please visit this thread: https://forums.penny-arcade.com/discussion/240191/forum-advertisement-faq-and-reports-thread/
Options

Pittsburgh Considers Adding a Tax to Tuition

SkyGheNeSkyGheNe Registered User regular
edited December 2009 in Debate and/or Discourse
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/16/education/16college.html?_r=1
December 16, 2009
Pittsburgh Sets Vote on Adding Tax on Tuition
By IAN URBINA

The mayor of Pittsburgh calls it the “Fair Share Tax.” But to officials at the city’s 10 colleges and universities and many of their 100,000 students, it is anything but.

On Wednesday, the City Council is expected to give preliminary approval to Mayor Luke Ravenstahl’s proposal for a 1 percent tuition tax on students attending college in Pittsburgh, which he says will raise $16.2 million in annual revenue that is needed to pay pensions for retired city employees. Final Council action will be on Monday.

The tax would be the first of its kind in the nation, and other cities are watching closely as they try to find ways to close their own budget gaps.

Students and college officials argue that the tax will drive students away and place an unfair burden on institutions that already contribute substantially to the city. They add that the measure comes at an especially difficult time for colleges, as endowment values have fallen and requests for financial aid have risen.

The tax, which will most likely end up in the courts, represents a turning point for Pittsburgh, which has remade itself after the steel mills shut down, becoming a hub for nonprofit hospitals and universities. Yet it has been unable to draw significant revenue from its new identity.

“It’s really a disappointment that we’re in this situation,” Mayor Ravenstahl said. “Our colleges and universities are giving less and less while they increase tuition and executive pay and expand their campuses, removing high-value land from the tax rolls. The cost to provide public safety and public works services continues to increase, but our revenue continues to decrease.”

The tax, which would take effect as early as July, would range from about $20 a year for students at cheaper schools like the Community College of Allegheny County to just over $400 for students at the city’s priciest university, Carnegie Mellon.

As a town-gown clash, the issue pits local taxpayers against mostly out-of-state students. But it is also a struggle between the old Pittsburgh and the new, as the mayor tries to force the city’s youngest residents to support some of its oldest.

Other cities have considered going this route. This spring, for example, Mayor David N. Cicilline of Providence, R.I., proposed a $150-per-semester tax on students at the city’s four private colleges. The State Legislature, however, did not take it up.

And in Boston, Mayor Thomas M. Menino created a task force in January to explore increasing voluntary payments from the city’s universities and hospitals.

“City officials see this as an untapped revenue source, and if Pittsburgh succeeds, I think you will see a lot of other cities immediately move to do the same,” said Terry Hartle of the American Council on Education, a lobbying group for universities. He added that if the Pittsburgh City Council approves the mayor’s proposal, the matter will surely go to the courts.

Students and university officials are not pleased.

The added cost “could prevent prospective students from coming to Carnegie Mellon, and Pittsburgh would be missing out on some of the best talent from around the world,” said an editorial published this month in The Tartan, the student newspaper at Carnegie Mellon.

Officials at the University of Pittsburgh said they would “vigorously oppose any attempt to impose a service or privilege fee on our undergraduate and graduate students.”

But Mr. Ravenstahl said he was left with no other option.

He said that he asked the universities and other tax-exempt nonprofits to pay $5 million annually to the city, and that in lieu of the tax he would find the other $10 million by dipping into reserves, cutting services and getting Harrisburg to increase the commuter tax rate.

Mr. Ravenstahl said the city currently forgoes about $50 million in real estate taxes from nonprofit institutions.

The universities rejected his request last week.

In a four-page letter, the Pittsburgh Council on Higher Education said it refused to consider payments as long as the mayor continued the threat of a tax that it called divisive, illegal and unenforceable.

The council added that the city’s colleges and universities pay $23 million annually in taxes to the city for payroll, parking, business privileges and any real estate not directly related to their educational missions.

Politically, Mr. Ravenstahl risks few votes in leaning on universities for revenue because college students rarely vote in local elections. And many of the constituencies that supported Mr. Ravenstahl’s re-election in November have been vocally supportive of his tax plan.

“This is a turning point for us,” said Joe King, president of the Pittsburgh firefighters’ union. He said that after Miami-Dade County in Florida, Allegheny County has the second largest number of seniors of any county in the United States and that in his union alone he has 900 retirees and 450 surviving spouses whose pensions need to be financed.

“Without the tax, the fate of those pensions could be in trouble,” he said. “We are not asking young people to carry more than their due. We’re just asking them to pay for what they use.”

But students say they already do.

“We have jobs in Pittsburgh so we pay taxes on that income, we rent apartments so we pay taxes on that, we have cars here, which provide parking taxes,” said David Gau, an undergraduate at the University of Pittsburgh, adding that he resented the portrayal of students as freeloaders. “We go to a variety of events like symphony, sports games, plays, concerts, and there are amusement taxes on those that produce even more revenue from us.”

“Why try to divert new people from coming here with a college tax?” added Mr. Gau, 21, who is from Kennett Square, Pa. “It’s the furthest thing from fair.”

Chad Ellis, 28, a graduate student in chemistry at Carnegie Mellon University and a Pittsburgh homeowner, agreed.

“Holding students hostage in negotiations with nonprofits to come up with money to pay for bloated city pension plans is divisive,” he said.

So what do you guys think of this? My initial gut reaction is no. As a former student, education is already astronomically high...it's like taking out a required mortgage, and I know plenty of people who will be paying off their loans until they're in their mid 30s. I feel like piling all of this debt onto people when they are so young is horrible, but I don't know if I'd be as opposed to a tuition tax if college was more affordable.

But $400? Damn that's rough.

SkyGheNe on
«1

Posts

  • Options
    enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Because clearly it is too cheap to go to college in this country.

    enlightenedbum on
    Self-righteousness is incompatible with coalition building.
  • Options
    SkyGheNeSkyGheNe Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Because clearly it is too cheap to go to college in this country.

    I weeped when my relatives in spain told me how much it costs them to go to uni. Is our education really all that much better? And is that consequently because of how much we charge?

    SkyGheNe on
  • Options
    matt has a problemmatt has a problem Points to 'off' Points to 'on'Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Something tells me it's low enough that it's going to get through without much fight. When you're leaving Carnegie Mellon with $160,000 in debt, leaving with $161,600 instead isn't going to be a deal breaker.

    matt has a problem on
    nibXTE7.png
  • Options
    KanamitKanamit Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    My first thought is that this is idiotic. My second thought is that hopefully it will shut up the "students have no interest in local elections" crowd and get more students to vote.

    Nah, that probably won't happen.

    Kanamit on
  • Options
    SkyGheNeSkyGheNe Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Something tells me it's low enough that it's going to get through without much fight. When you're leaving Carnegie Mellon with $160,000 in debt, leaving with $161,600 instead isn't going to be a deal breaker.

    Yeah, but a big issue is that it may potentially reduce enrollment numbers from out of state students. Although, I see your point. It's like debating over whether it's worse to drown or be lit on fire.

    Both suck.

    SkyGheNe on
  • Options
    enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    SkyGheNe wrote: »
    Because clearly it is too cheap to go to college in this country.

    I weeped when my relatives in spain told me how much it costs them to go to uni. Is our education really all that much better? And is that consequently because of how much we charge?

    Systemwide? Probably. Last time I checked we have some absurd percentage (at least half) of the world's top 100 universities.

    But no, it's not really because of high tuition, as it's been that way for longer than costs have been insane. You can mostly blame state balanced budget amendments for that, as education funding is a huge part of state budgets and thus inevitably gets cut whenever there's a deficit.

    enlightenedbum on
    Self-righteousness is incompatible with coalition building.
  • Options
    MrMisterMrMister Jesus dying on the cross in pain? Morally better than us. One has to go "all in".Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    As a graduate student in Pittsburgh:

    FUCK. THIS. NOISE.

    Bitches, I'm already poor, I don't need a hyper-regressive tax on the pittance I make.

    MrMister on
  • Options
    Alchemist449Alchemist449 Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Alchemist449 thinks about the enrollment fee he just payed to get in to the University of Pittsburgh, sighs.

    Alchemist449 on
  • Options
    Santa ClaustrophobiaSanta Claustrophobia Ho Ho Ho Disconnecting from Xbox LIVERegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    SkyGheNe wrote: »
    Because clearly it is too cheap to go to college in this country.

    I weeped when my relatives in spain told me how much it costs them to go to uni. Is our education really all that much better? And is that consequently because of how much we charge?

    Systemwide? Probably. Last time I checked we have some absurd percentage (at least half) of the world's top 100 universities.

    But no, it's not really because of high tuition, as it's been that way for longer than costs have been insane. You can mostly blame state balanced budget amendments for that, as education funding is a huge part of state budgets and thus inevitably gets cut whenever there's a deficit.

    Some of the darker theories is that as time goes on, the costs also rise to help keep out the 'riff-raff'. If college is a requirement to a better future, why share it with those who don't 'deserve' it?

    It's probably not really true, but probably also not far from it. More a happy coincidence for those who believe such things.

    Santa Claustrophobia on
  • Options
    matt has a problemmatt has a problem Points to 'off' Points to 'on'Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    SkyGheNe wrote: »
    Because clearly it is too cheap to go to college in this country.

    I weeped when my relatives in spain told me how much it costs them to go to uni. Is our education really all that much better? And is that consequently because of how much we charge?

    Systemwide? Probably. Last time I checked we have some absurd percentage (at least half) of the world's top 100 universities.

    But no, it's not really because of high tuition, as it's been that way for longer than costs have been insane. You can mostly blame state balanced budget amendments for that, as education funding is a huge part of state budgets and thus inevitably gets cut whenever there's a deficit.

    Some of the darker theories is that as time goes on, the costs also rise to help keep out the 'riff-raff'. If college is a requirement to a better future, why share it with those who don't 'deserve' it?

    It's probably not really true, but probably also not far from it. More a happy coincidence for those who believe such things.
    I saw an article earlier today that said had gas prices increased at the same pace and percentage tuition prices have since 1980, gas would be $7.50 a gallon now. Tuition prices have made inflation their bitch, there really is no basis in reality for them at this point.

    matt has a problem on
    nibXTE7.png
  • Options
    RustRust __BANNED USERS regular
    edited December 2009
    jeeeesus

    between this and the skyrocketing tuition on the west coast, i wouldn't be surprised if private lenders between whispering about the possibility of student debtor prisons sometime in the future

    they wouldn't call it that, of course, but the principle would be the same

    education is probably one of the most disgraceful social issues in this country, and that is one hell of an accomplishment

    Rust on
  • Options
    Santa ClaustrophobiaSanta Claustrophobia Ho Ho Ho Disconnecting from Xbox LIVERegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    SkyGheNe wrote: »
    Because clearly it is too cheap to go to college in this country.

    I weeped when my relatives in spain told me how much it costs them to go to uni. Is our education really all that much better? And is that consequently because of how much we charge?

    Systemwide? Probably. Last time I checked we have some absurd percentage (at least half) of the world's top 100 universities.

    But no, it's not really because of high tuition, as it's been that way for longer than costs have been insane. You can mostly blame state balanced budget amendments for that, as education funding is a huge part of state budgets and thus inevitably gets cut whenever there's a deficit.

    Some of the darker theories is that as time goes on, the costs also rise to help keep out the 'riff-raff'. If college is a requirement to a better future, why share it with those who don't 'deserve' it?

    It's probably not really true, but probably also not far from it. More a happy coincidence for those who believe such things.
    I saw an article earlier today that said had gas prices increased at the same pace and percentage tuition prices have since 1980, gas would be $7.50 a gallon now. Tuition prices have made inflation their bitch, there really is no basis in reality for them at this point.

    Strangely, education doesn't seem to be government subsidised... If you get my meaning.

    Santa Claustrophobia on
  • Options
    matt has a problemmatt has a problem Points to 'off' Points to 'on'Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Skip college. Go to a tech school, or learn a trade. Unless you're going to college for a science you're basically pissing money away anyway. Liberal arts degrees are worth less than the paper they're printed on. MBAs are getting there, due to how watered-down and over-crowded the programs have become. The US is on the verge of having a severe lack of tradespeople when the boomers all drop out of the workforce. Want almost permanent job security? Become a carpenter, or a welder, or an electrician.

    matt has a problem on
    nibXTE7.png
  • Options
    BarcardiBarcardi All the Wizards Under A Rock: AfganistanRegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Can we just tax everyone age 35-80 twice over out of spite?

    Time for back taxes on college!

    Barcardi on
  • Options
    Santa ClaustrophobiaSanta Claustrophobia Ho Ho Ho Disconnecting from Xbox LIVERegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Skip college. Go to a tech school, or learn a trade. Unless you're going to college for a science you're basically pissing money away anyway. Liberal arts degrees are worth less than the paper they're printed on. MBAs are getting there, due to how watered-down and over-crowded the programs have become. The US is on the verge of having a severe lack of tradespeople when the boomers all drop out of the workforce. Want almost permanent job security? Become a carpenter, or a welder, or an electrician.

    Tradespeople? Half the jobs are being outsoursed to foreign countries. Our economy shifted from production to consumption. These are the last stages of the Republic. A trade school isn't going to fix a thing if we don't manufacture anything.

    Santa Claustrophobia on
  • Options
    RobmanRobman Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Hey at least this means Canada will have more wealthy American students paying for our lab equipment

    Robman on
  • Options
    durandal4532durandal4532 Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Robman wrote: »
    Hey at least this means Canada will have more wealthy American students paying for our lab equipment

    Fucking seriously.

    McGill was the exact same cost as my state university's in-state tuition. It's not sane. My Canadian friends paid $2,000 a semester, the Quebecois ones paid $500. You could win your tuition in a goddamn craps game.

    Any US student who can stand cold weather should apply to every Canadian university before any US one.

    durandal4532 on
    Take a moment to donate what you can to Critical Resistance and Black Lives Matter.
  • Options
    BarcardiBarcardi All the Wizards Under A Rock: AfganistanRegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Robman wrote: »
    Hey at least this means Canada will have more wealthy American students paying for our lab equipment

    Fucking seriously.

    McGill was the exact same cost as my state university's in-state tuition. It's not sane. My Canadian friends paid $2,000 a semester, the Quebecois ones paid $500. You could win your tuition in a goddamn craps game.

    Any US student who can stand cold weather should apply to every Canadian university before any US one.

    I wish i knew this 5 years ago

    Barcardi on
  • Options
    ronyaronya Arrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Skip college. Go to a tech school, or learn a trade. Unless you're going to college for a science you're basically pissing money away anyway. Liberal arts degrees are worth less than the paper they're printed on. MBAs are getting there, due to how watered-down and over-crowded the programs have become. The US is on the verge of having a severe lack of tradespeople when the boomers all drop out of the workforce. Want almost permanent job security? Become a carpenter, or a welder, or an electrician.

    Tradespeople? Half the jobs are being outsoursed to foreign countries. Our economy shifted from production to consumption. These are the last stages of the Republic. A trade school isn't going to fix a thing if we don't manufacture anything.

    Um, no. Industrial production has been rising steadily in the US. Several prominent cities have deindustrialized (most notoriously Detroit) and handled this badly, but this is due to industry moving to other parts of the US.

    There is a grain of truth to what you say (the US saves too little, China+Asian Tigers+NICs save too much; cue mutual imbalances. Remember that the malaise of Japan, second-largest economy behind the US, is insufficient domestic demand). So excessive US consumption is a problem. But the bullshit about the collapse of US manufacturing needs to stop.

    ronya on
    aRkpc.gif
  • Options
    Santa ClaustrophobiaSanta Claustrophobia Ho Ho Ho Disconnecting from Xbox LIVERegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    ronya wrote: »
    Skip college. Go to a tech school, or learn a trade. Unless you're going to college for a science you're basically pissing money away anyway. Liberal arts degrees are worth less than the paper they're printed on. MBAs are getting there, due to how watered-down and over-crowded the programs have become. The US is on the verge of having a severe lack of tradespeople when the boomers all drop out of the workforce. Want almost permanent job security? Become a carpenter, or a welder, or an electrician.

    Tradespeople? Half the jobs are being outsoursed to foreign countries. Our economy shifted from production to consumption. These are the last stages of the Republic. A trade school isn't going to fix a thing if we don't manufacture anything.

    Um, no. Industrial production has been rising steadily in the US. Several prominent cities have deindustrialized (most notoriously Detroit) and handled this badly, but this is due to industry moving to other parts of the US.

    There is a grain of truth to what you say (the US saves too little, China+Asian Tigers+NICs save too much; cue mutual imbalances. Remember that the malaise of Japan, second-largest economy behind the US, is insufficient domestic demand). So excessive US consumption is a problem. But the bullshit about the collapse of US manufacturing needs to stop.

    I didn't say it when I posted, and I probably should have, but I believe (or at least suspect) outsourcing is mostly for entry level, non-'educated' positions. The sorts of things most people can do with minimal training, but do very will with more advanced training (including higher education).

    Industrial production has always shifted to new things and it's up to local economies to try and figure a way to handle it or at least not be so dependent on a single industry. But that doesn't change the (acknowledged) shift from production to consumption in the US. Whether or not US Industry is alive and well doesn't change that.

    Santa Claustrophobia on
  • Options
    ronyaronya Arrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    More on topic: tax exempting universities is a subsidy. Taxing tuition seems like an inefficient way to reduce said subsidy. Notably, it reduces the subsidy in a very visible way (rather than shuffling the responsibility onto the parent entity, as is traditional with taxes). This suggests that the mayor is attempting to exploit some feeling that the gown part of the town vs gown enmity should be publicly punished.

    So there is some political element here that isn't being talked about.

    ronya on
    aRkpc.gif
  • Options
    ronyaronya Arrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    ronya wrote: »
    Skip college. Go to a tech school, or learn a trade. Unless you're going to college for a science you're basically pissing money away anyway. Liberal arts degrees are worth less than the paper they're printed on. MBAs are getting there, due to how watered-down and over-crowded the programs have become. The US is on the verge of having a severe lack of tradespeople when the boomers all drop out of the workforce. Want almost permanent job security? Become a carpenter, or a welder, or an electrician.

    Tradespeople? Half the jobs are being outsoursed to foreign countries. Our economy shifted from production to consumption. These are the last stages of the Republic. A trade school isn't going to fix a thing if we don't manufacture anything.

    Um, no. Industrial production has been rising steadily in the US. Several prominent cities have deindustrialized (most notoriously Detroit) and handled this badly, but this is due to industry moving to other parts of the US.

    There is a grain of truth to what you say (the US saves too little, China+Asian Tigers+NICs save too much; cue mutual imbalances. Remember that the malaise of Japan, second-largest economy behind the US, is insufficient domestic demand). So excessive US consumption is a problem. But the bullshit about the collapse of US manufacturing needs to stop.

    I didn't say it when I posted, and I probably should have, but I believe (or at least suspect) outsourcing is mostly for entry level, non-'educated' positions. The sorts of things most people can do with minimal training, but do very will with more advanced training (including higher education).

    Industrial production has always shifted to new things and it's up to local economies to try and figure a way to handle it or at least not be so dependent on a single industry. But that doesn't change the (acknowledged) shift from production to consumption in the US. Whether or not US Industry is alive and well doesn't change that.

    There hasn't been a 'shift from production to consumption'; production is alive and well. There is excessive consumption funded by East Asian willingness to keep lending the US money to afford said consumption.

    Or perhaps you are using some definition of 'production' that doesn't appear in the economics lexicon anywhere...?

    ronya on
    aRkpc.gif
  • Options
    Santa ClaustrophobiaSanta Claustrophobia Ho Ho Ho Disconnecting from Xbox LIVERegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    This isn't an econ theory thread. And for that I'm glad. This tangent is becoming more and more irrelevant to the thread topic. Investing in trade schools isn't going to be the thing that fixes US education and that's the point I was making.

    Econ theory can take a running jump of itself...

    Santa Claustrophobia on
  • Options
    HenroidHenroid Mexican kicked from Immigration Thread Centrism is Racism :3Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    This is what makes people scream about taxes.

    Henroid on
  • Options
    ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Kanamit wrote: »
    My first thought is that this is idiotic. My second thought is that hopefully it will shut up the "students have no interest in local elections" crowd and get more students to vote.

    Nah, that probably won't happen.
    If Pittsburgh is like most other cities in the U.S., they put up as many barriers as possible to prevent college students from out of town from registering to vote there.

    Thanatos on
  • Options
    ronyaronya Arrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Investing in trade schools isn't going to be the thing that fixes US education and that's the point I was making.

    That is true. The US isn't going to lack tradespeople, not least because the US doesn't lack immigrants. Learning a trade is likely to backfire unless the anti-immigration crowd abruptly overthrows the mostly neoconservative Republican leadership.

    This isn't the first time in recent years that universities have targeted by state legislatures (Harvard's large endowment got looked at by Massachusetts last year, for instance - it didn't pass AFAIK). If anything, what's surprising is how rare this is, since such universities are often rich, immobile, don't vote for assorted reasons, demand-inelastic, etc.

    I'm not really sure what protects universities from such attempts, but it appears to be working. I doubt the Pittsburgh attempt will work, either.

    ronya on
    aRkpc.gif
  • Options
    ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    You know what a good way to save that shortfall would be?

    Take a good, long look at Pittsburgh Police benefits and pay. Not their salary, but their actual pay.

    Thanatos on
  • Options
    KanamitKanamit Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Thanatos wrote: »
    Kanamit wrote: »
    My first thought is that this is idiotic. My second thought is that hopefully it will shut up the "students have no interest in local elections" crowd and get more students to vote.

    Nah, that probably won't happen.
    If Pittsburgh is like most other cities in the U.S., they put up as many barriers as possible to prevent college students from out of town from registering to vote there.
    Oh believe me, I know. I'm involved in an ongoing legal battle over stuff like that.

    Kanamit on
  • Options
    ronyaronya Arrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    An interesting development:
    In a sudden change of course, Pittsburgh’s mayor asked the City Council Wednesday to postpone a vote on the nation’s first tuition tax on college students, holding out hope that the city’s 10 colleges and universities will agree to provide economic help voluntarily.

    “Over the last several days, thanks to your strength, conviction and support, we have made progress,” Mayor Luke Ravenstahl wrote in a letter on Wednesday to City Council members, citing discussions with Pittsburgh’s nonprofit community. “I feel that a one-week hold on this bill is an appropriate measure.”

    University officials and students, who have been asking for weeks for the mayor to drop his proposed 1 percent tuition tax, hailed the decision as a victory. The mayor is racing the clock because two of the Council members whose votes he needs to get the measure approved are leaving the Council at the end of the year.

    In addition, state lawmakers are considering a bill that would explicitly prevent municipalities from enacting such measures.

    ronya on
    aRkpc.gif
  • Options
    HenroidHenroid Mexican kicked from Immigration Thread Centrism is Racism :3Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Couldn't the state enact laws that not only prevent taxation but also remove any this guy is trying to slip in now?

    Henroid on
  • Options
    RustRust __BANNED USERS regular
    edited December 2009
    ronya wrote: »
    An interesting development:
    In a sudden change of course, Pittsburgh’s mayor asked the City Council Wednesday to postpone a vote on the nation’s first tuition tax on college students, holding out hope that the city’s 10 colleges and universities will agree to provide economic help voluntarily.

    “Over the last several days, thanks to your strength, conviction and support, we have made progress,” Mayor Luke Ravenstahl wrote in a letter on Wednesday to City Council members, citing discussions with Pittsburgh’s nonprofit community. “I feel that a one-week hold on this bill is an appropriate measure.”

    University officials and students, who have been asking for weeks for the mayor to drop his proposed 1 percent tuition tax, hailed the decision as a victory. The mayor is racing the clock because two of the Council members whose votes he needs to get the measure approved are leaving the Council at the end of the year.

    In addition, state lawmakers are considering a bill that would explicitly prevent municipalities from enacting such measures.

    oh gee, a one-week delay

    thanks

    Rust on
  • Options
    MrMisterMrMister Jesus dying on the cross in pain? Morally better than us. One has to go "all in".Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    This tax seems bizarrely regressive. Tax the board of regents' salary, don't tax the tuition.

    MrMister on
  • Options
    KanamitKanamit Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    MrMister wrote: »
    This tax seems bizarrely regressive. Tax the board of regent's salary, don't tax the tuition.
    I'm sure that would be illegal. Or more illegal than taxing tuition, anyways.

    Kanamit on
  • Options
    Santa ClaustrophobiaSanta Claustrophobia Ho Ho Ho Disconnecting from Xbox LIVERegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    On the other side of things, how much does Pittsburgh spend in operating these schools? If they spend anything, it's probably a better way to try and balance the budget than to simply cut education funding (which is usually the first to go). If they're not involved much, if at all, then it might be some kind of ploy to squeeze a little more money out of the state budget as part of a deal to prevent the tax from being enacted.

    Santa Claustrophobia on
  • Options
    ronyaronya Arrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    MrMister wrote: »
    This tax seems bizarrely regressive. Tax the board of regent's salary, don't tax the tuition.

    The members of the board likely earn their income elsewhere. And they're entirely capable of picking up and leaving (by resigning their board seat, for instance). But students are not likely to leave in a huff over a 1% increase in annual tuition.

    Regardless, such threats to universities are common, but rarely pass. I suspect the dynamic here is that universities and other non-profits often do already pay a large "voluntary" tax; when the town feels that it wants to raise the "voluntary" tax rate, it simply threatens to make the tax less voluntary.

    ronya on
    aRkpc.gif
  • Options
    themightypuckthemightypuck MontanaRegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Lots of Universities are surrounded by some pretty terrible neighborhoods although I've been told in Pittsburgh this is not the case.

    themightypuck on
    “Reject your sense of injury and the injury itself disappears.”
    ― Marcus Aurelius

    Path of Exile: themightypuck
  • Options
    saggiosaggio Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    So why is it that non-profits don't pay property tax? Because presumably that's what this tax on tuition is attempting to compensate for.

    saggio on
    3DS: 0232-9436-6893
  • Options
    His CorkinessHis Corkiness Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    SkyGheNe wrote: »
    On Wednesday, the City Council is expected to give preliminary approval to Mayor Luke Ravenstahl’s proposal for a 1 percent tuition tax on students attending college in Pittsburgh, which he says will raise $16.2 million in annual revenue that is needed to pay pensions for retired city employees.
    Mortgaging the future for a better todaayyyyyy:whistle:

    His Corkiness on
  • Options
    PicardathonPicardathon Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    SkyGheNe wrote: »
    On Wednesday, the City Council is expected to give preliminary approval to Mayor Luke Ravenstahl’s proposal for a 1 percent tuition tax on students attending college in Pittsburgh, which he says will raise $16.2 million in annual revenue that is needed to pay pensions for retired city employees.
    Mortgaging the future for a better todaayyyyyy:whistle:

    Ayup.
    American municipalities are already focused on getting funds to pay pensions; it will become the primary need for new taxes in a decade or two. But nobody cares because, hey, they got paid less. Great deal, in the same way GM giving health care and pensions to all of its workers was a great idea.

    Picardathon on
  • Options
    Crimson KingCrimson King Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Shouldn't we be specifically taxing things we don't want people to be doing? I mean, it seems a little odd that the government would go out of its way to discourage people from going to college.

    Crimson King on
Sign In or Register to comment.