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View Full Version : U.S. Issues Noble Experiment: Pittsburgh wants to tax tuition for college students


Taco John
11-21-2009, 03:29 PM
I hate the idea, but it might actually be a noble experiement, and get all these airheaded college socialists thinking about where the money that is being pilfered out of their pockets goes.


Tuition tax wouldn't be small change to students
Buzz up!By Bill Zlatos, TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, November 10, 2009

College students are grumbling about Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's proposed 1 percent tuition tax, and university officials wonder why the city would clog up an engine that has been fueling its growth.

"Obviously, I'm not thrilled about it," said Kelley Harrington, 19, a freshman at Carnegie Mellon University. "I'd like to know where the money is going. Is it going for somebody to take a trip to a fancy hotel for a meeting? I don't see why my money working on summer jobs should go for that."

Ravenstahl's tax on post-secondary schools detailed Monday would raise more than $16.2 million a year. He said his administration targeted students because the city provides services to them, but they don't pay their fair share to the city.

Critics say such a tax would hurt students struggling to pay bills during the economic downturn and could put colleges and universities at a competitive disadvantage with other schools.

"The mayor's proposal places the burden of balancing the city budget on the backs of college students," Duquesne University President Charles J. Dougherty said in a statement to his employees. "This will weaken Pittsburgh's credibility as a progressive place to live and work, further hindering community and economic development efforts. As Duquesne and other local institutions work to recruit the best and brightest students to Pittsburgh, this tax will serve as a competitive disadvantage when prospective students compare us to universities in cities that do not impose such a tax."

Dougherty noted the state Supreme Court has determined attempts to tax institutions of higher education to be illegal. The Pittsburgh Council on Higher Education, a group of colleges in the city, said it would respond today.

Ravenstahl called the proposal a tax on students, not nonprofit groups, but he acknowledged that nonprofit schools would characterize it as an attempt to tax them.

"We believe nonprofits should do more in the city," he said.

City Councilman Jim Motznik agreed.

"If they would have contributed to the City of Pittsburgh like they should have been, there would be no need for this," he said. "With all the fees and costs college students are paying, this is minimal."

Creating the tax could spell the end of the Pittsburgh Public Service Fund, voluntary contributions that nonprofit groups including the universities made to the city. The agreement for the fund expired at the end of 2007, and participants were waiting for City Council to approve the extension.

"If we extended that deal, we might jeopardize this tax," Ravenstahl said.

The Rev. Ron Lengwin, spokesman for the fund, said he did not know why council had not signed off on the agreement. University of Pittsburgh officials said in a prepared statement that the fund is the better way for nonprofit groups to help the city. It gave the city nearly $14 million between 2005 and 2007.

The tax would extend to the more than 30 institutions of higher education in the city, including for-profit schools and seminaries that charge tuition. It would cover all types of students -- part-time and full-time, those receiving scholarships and those taking classes online. The actual cost would range from $27 a year at Community College of Allegheny County to $135 a year at Pitt and about $400 at Carnegie Mellon.

"The quickest way to ruin Pittsburgh's emerging reputation as a college town is to become the first city in the nation to tax its students," said Don Francis, president of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, a group of 87 private schools in the state. "This will do real damage to one of Pittsburgh's 'growth industries.' "

In a prepared statement, Carnegie Mellon spokesman Ken Walters said the university pays taxes and fees for city services, employs 4,900 people and has spun off 200 companies that created more than 9,000 jobs during the past 15 years. It has attracted companies such as Google, Intel, Apple, Disney and Caterpillar to the region, bringing more than 250 jobs.

Ravenstahl said the tax would fill a $15 million hole in the city's budget for pension obligations and provide $1 million a year for the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. The Carnegie Library would get the money only if it decides to keep open four libraries slated for closure. The city has been giving the Carnegie Library $40,000 a year since 1895.

Antoni Abella Vendrell, 30, an MBA student at Carnegie Mellon from Barcelona, Spain, called the proposed tax "a bit unfair" because students lack income. He said student tuition indirectly pays taxes by providing money for faculty.

"Professor wages pay income taxes, so the money is going back to the city," he said.

Another Carnegie Mellon student, Allison McKnight, 18, of Gibsonia, thinks the tax makes sense.

"We are using the services," she said. "But we already are paying a lot of money to come here."

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_652422.html

wild1
11-21-2009, 03:45 PM
Is it any surprise? They will tax anything they can get away with taxing, for as much as they can get away with.

banyon
11-21-2009, 03:48 PM
Man, that's a double whammy. Tax students without jobs and also send people to other schools. Sounds like some anarcho-libertarian purists impractical idea to score cheap political points at the expense of real jobs for an area already hard-hit by the manufacturing decline.

redsurfer11
11-21-2009, 04:03 PM
Man, that's a double whammy. Tax students without jobs and also send people to other schools. Sounds like some anarcho-libertarian purists impractical idea to score cheap political points at the expense of real jobs for an area already hard-hit by the manufacturing decline.


There's always the UCLA option.

blaise
11-21-2009, 04:20 PM
Northeaestern states are already taxing the people into leaving. Then they're short on tax dollars, so what can they do? Tax the people already there some more. Fantastic idea.

On a side note, I was in Pittsburgh a few weeks ago to see a short play I wrote. I thought it was a really cool town.

Taco John
11-21-2009, 10:24 PM
Man, that's a double whammy. Tax students without jobs and also send people to other schools. Sounds like some anarcho-libertarian purists impractical idea to score cheap political points at the expense of real jobs for an area already hard-hit by the manufacturing decline.


Taxing students sounds like what again? LMAO

I would be embarassed too if I were you, and try to pretend that it's the libertarians who tax those they think are rich and privledged enough to support it.

Just out of curiosity, who do you think is buying your embarassing distortion?

Bearcat2005
11-22-2009, 08:20 AM
Taxing students sounds like what again? LMAO

I would be embarassed too if I were you, and try to pretend that it's the libertarians who tax those they think are rich and privledged enough to support it.

Just out of curiosity, who do you think is buying your embarassing distortion?

I was going to respond to what it seems is his ideological confusion but your words fit nice, so I will go with a simple....THIS.

banyon
11-22-2009, 08:40 AM
Taxing students sounds like what again? LMAO

I would be embarassed too if I were you, and try to pretend that it's the libertarians who tax those they think are rich and privledged enough to support it.

Just out of curiosity, who do you think is buying your embarassing distortion?

The comparison was of the impracticality of the idea. The mayor is a Dem, obviously.

Taco John
11-22-2009, 10:05 AM
I love how you "progressive" folks find taxation and the financial subjugation of Americans to the Federal Government to be such a practical idea until it makes you look like the fools you are. And then it our fault for having "impractical ideas" while you're sitting there with the egg on your face over it.

I'm not sure why you just couldn't admit that sometimes you sociali- er, "progressives" get a little carried away with your schemes for making the world a utopian place where healthcare and social programs flow freely to the masses.

Mile High Mania
11-22-2009, 10:09 AM
I'm waiting for them to come up with the idea for us to be taxed if we exceed a number of breaths taken on a daily basis ... or if we drive over a certain number of miles a month... then, when we stop driving as much, we're taxed on alternate transportation methods.

There has to be a limit on what is taxed.

banyon
11-22-2009, 10:22 AM
I love how you "progressive" folks find taxation and the financial subjugation of Americans to the Federal Government to be such a practical idea until it makes you look like the fools you are. And then it our fault for having impractical ideas while you're sitting there with the egg on your face over it.

I'm not sure why you just couldn't admit that sometimes you sociali- er, "progressives" get a little carried away with your schemes for making the world a utopian place where healthcare and social programs flow freely to the masses.

I don't have any egg on my face. I said this was a terrible idea at the outset and it remains. It is fundamentally stupid to tax people who don't have any money who are trying to earn degrees so they can be in the position of one day being actually able to contribute to the tax base.

To say that the logic, that claims that because one taxation idea is impractical or one progressive idea is bad, therefore they must all be bad, is specious, is well, of course an understatement.

Taco John
11-22-2009, 10:28 AM
The reason that these socialist schemes are all such terrible ideas is that you have to subjugate some in order to deliver these bright ideas to others. This college student idea is the same as any other progressive idea, only this time the bar of "rich and priviledged" has fallen to a level that you find problematic.

Interestingly enough, the student said it best: "we are using the services."

So the question is, who should pay for those services that the students are using?

Who Banyon? Who?

banyon
11-22-2009, 10:36 AM
The reason that these socialist schemes are all such terrible ideas is that you have to subjugate some in order to deliver these bright ideas to others. This college student idea is the same as any other progressive idea, only this time the bar of "rich and priviledged" has fallen to a level that you find problematic.

This overly broad criticism applies to every government endeavor, so once again, in black-or-white fashion you crazily advocate anarchy as the answer to all our problems. The converse of your statement "that no one should be subjugated by some in order to deliver ideas to others", only works in Imaginationland.

Interestingly enough, the student said it best: "we are using the services."

So the question is, who should pay for those services that the students are using?

Who Banyon? Who?

How about the local businesses and career individuals who profit greatly from the presence of the students in their town?

Taco John
11-22-2009, 10:42 AM
This overly broad criticism applies to every government endeavor, so once again, in black-or-white fashion you crazily advocate anarchy as the answer to all our problems. The converse of your statement "that no one should be subjugated by some in order to deliver ideas to others", only works in Imaginationland.

Yeah. Anarchy Banyon, you dope. That's what I'm advocating. Anarchy! ROFL

Just kill whoever you want. That's what libertarians believe. Just kill aimlessley. Do what feels good, regardless of other people's rights to life, liberty and property. Anarchy. That's what I believe in. ROFL

Get the **** out of here with that dopey shit.



How about the local businesses and career individuals who profit greatly from the presence of the students in their town?

Of course. Subjugate someone who isn't using the services and who gains some imagined benefit from them through some dubious connection. The students need services, so those who "profit" must pay. Evil profiteers!

Why in the world would you think you could credibly resist the tag "socialist" when you plainly advocate it like this?

banyon
11-22-2009, 10:47 AM
Yeah. Anarchy Banyon, you dope. That's what I'm advocating. Anarchy! ROFL

Just kill whoever you want. That's what libertarians believe. Just kill aimlessley. Do what feels good, regardless of other people's rights to life, liberty and property. Anarchy. That's what I believe in. ROFL

Get the **** out of here with that dopey shit.

You're the one with the dopey principle. I'm never surprised when you don't want to consider its implications. We of course weren't talking about murders (which would be the most minimal responsibility of any government), but even if we were, if there were people who didn't care about them, then how woud you address murderers without "subjugated by some in order to deliver ideas to others"?


Of course. Subjugate someone who isn't using the services and who gains some imagined benefit from them through some dubious connection. The students need services, so those who "profit" must pay. Evil profiteers!

Why in the world would you think you could credibly resist the tag "socialist" when you plainly advocate it like this?

How silly that those who profit from an economic arrangement should bear any of the cost. Craziness! At least here, you don't actually pretend you have some sort of principle-based argument. Just name call me a socialist in lieu of principles and logic.