More taxes? Yes, please!

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Well you can’t take two steps downtown without running smack into a luxury living construction site. Hell, stupid luxury living construction site went and blocked my view of the baseball games at PNC Park. Now how will I direct my evil eye to Kevin McClatchy high atop my evil lair?

Today, the Trib delves into the fact that downtown living is currently only affordable to the filty stinkin’ rich. But fear ye not middle class masses of the Burgh. Taxation will once again save the day:

That second phase of the revitalization — making it affordable to live Downtown — may cost taxpayers who only visit or work there.

“The way to do that is to subsidize,” said Patty Burk, vice president of housing and economic development for the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership. Taxpayers will have to cover “20 to 30 percent of the costs for working professionals and college grads,” she said.

Ravenstahl has said he supports subsidies for affordable housing and tax breaks for those who move Downtown.

But it’s a thought that doesn’t sit well with some city residents who already feel overtaxed.

“I pay for my house. Why should I pay for someone to live here?” said Dan Johnson, 36, of Bloomfield, as he walked to work Downtown. “I don’t think that will fly here.”

Um … WORD.

That will fly like a penguin.


  1. Bram
    January 4, 2007 10:55 am

    Another solution: build some lovely cheap rat traps. Let the punks move in, for whom the south side is getting too preppy. Let the granolas move it, for whom squirrel hill is getting too pricey. Then downtown will get all colorful and boho, and the bourgouis will be happy to pay for luxury lofts.

    Style note: Fly like a Penguin, not PC this month.

  2. Clarion
    January 4, 2007 11:51 am

    If you mean “fly to canada like a penguin” then you’re right

  3. ethan
    January 4, 2007 2:14 pm

    Free parking would do a lot to revitalize downtown Pittsburgh.

  4. Ruby Vroom
    January 4, 2007 5:29 pm

    Seriously, why does all the downtown housing have to be “luxury” anyway? Can’t there just be normal apartments without river views where your average person can live? I’m always amazed by all this pricey housing in Pgh. Where are all these people with money to afford these places coming from?

  5. Erin
    January 5, 2007 9:09 am

    Amen, Ruby. And until there is a grocery store and other normal amenities downtown, WHY would you want to live there.

  6. Devil's Advocate
    January 5, 2007 9:36 am

    Seriously, go to any other city in the Northeast or the midwest and you will pay three times the price of these condos…you can’t expect the downtown area to flurish until there is the market there that requires grocery stores, shops, and various amenities. The fact that the majority of unbuilt condos are already bought speaks for itself…

  7. Sofa King
    January 5, 2007 10:25 am

    I almost crapped my pants when I saw the price of those condos at the Giant Eagle in Shadyside…$460k for a 2-BR?!?! That’s in line with what you’d pay for a luxury 2BR here in DC. The last time I checked, can’t you get a pretty diesel McMansion in Pittsburgh for like $300k???

  8. Kat
    January 5, 2007 10:48 am

    I think the housing has to be “luxury” because that’s the only way for builders/developers to get back their investments. They’d go bankrupt after rehabbing a building and renting units for $500/month.

  9. Bram
    January 7, 2007 4:24 pm

    Shit, Kat, you just gave me a great idea. Instead of awarding subsidies to the folks who move in, how about giving tax breaks to the owners who purchase and rehab the property? America hands out tax breaks like candy, and the business community seems to eat it up. Isn’t that exactly what we once did to the vacant, blighted South Side flats, and now folks are paying through the teeth to live up against railroad tracks?

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