Today, Lukey is going to city council to propose a new 1% tax that will be levied on the tuition of students that attend college in the city of Pittsburgh. The money generated from this tax will go toward funding the city’s underfunded pension, and some toward the libraries.
And all I can think is this:
Lukey, UPMC, and the city schools have been begging nonprofits, corporations, and people like you and I to give to the Pittsburgh Promise to provide tuition dollars for students to go to college in Pennsylvania. Now, Lukey wants to turn around and tell some of those same kids, “Uh, yeah, here’s some money for college. Now give some of it back to me because I’m taxing your butt now.”
The city of Pittsburgh has finally run out of things to tax when not only is Lukey looking to tax skyrocketing, completely-unaffordable-as-it-is-tuition, but in trying to sell it to you says:
“We don’t believe that [1 percent] is too burdensome on college students,” Mr. Ravenstahl said.
Right. Because when you’re taking out loans in the tens and tens of thousands of dollars, working two jobs, putting your parents further into debt, eating Ramen noodles three meals a day, dying inside when you have to pay $150 for one stinking math book, all so you can pay tuition that this year is 5% more than last year and then spend the next 15 years paying off loans, hell, what’s another $300 a year?
This mentality is why Allegheny County managed to pass the drink tax while having ridiculously high property taxes. This “what’s a hundred or three hundred dollars here and there and here and there and here and oh yeah, over there, and don’t forget right here this thing under this rock that we haven’t taxed yet” mentality.
How long before our local politicians realize that all those drops of taxes in the bucket have turned into an ocean whose tide is going to sweep our residents right out of the city and off to greener, less-taxed pastures?
Here’s an idea. Audit the library system like you mean it and find out why, REALLY why they’re in the position they are. Don’t put a band-aid on the wound. Find out what’s causing the bleeding. And while you’re at it, city, don’t even expect a single one of us to believe there isn’t a gross, gross waste of taxpayer dollars happening on Grant Street. Shall I remind you of the quarter of a million dollars spent on 250 trash cans?
City, HEAL THYSELF before taxing your people.
This tax is a horrible idea and I’m trusting City Council to kick it in the nads.
UPDATE: Lukey calls this a tax on “the privilege” of attending college in Pittsburgh. As I write in the comments:
Another thing Lukey and City Council need to grasp, and this is a TRUTH, forget the students being “privileged” to attend college in Pittsburgh, how about the fact that when students attend college in Pittsburgh, stay in Pittsburgh, work in Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh is gifted with an educated workforce and thereby a larger tax-base.
God. How dumb this is. I’m feeling stabbity now.
[awkward kung fu moves]
If you think my cute little fist-shaking is bad, you should see me when I go Kung Fu Panda on something. Not pretty, people. Not pretty.