Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl proposes to tax working and non-working students 1 percent tax to help subsidize city worker pension plans. You can fight this tax by reaching out to your city councilman (see Alumni Relations Site for sample letter and councilman contact information).
SAY NO TO THIS TAX!!!
Summary and Talking points (taken from Alumni Relations Web site):
Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl has proposed a 1 percent tuition tax on university students that is illegal, ill-advised and unfair! A majority of students pay City wage taxes through their part or full-time jobs, and pay City real estate taxes through their rental payments and home ownership. Universities play a critical role in the economic vitality, vibrancy and marketability of the City. The Mayor’s proposed tax weakens the City’s emerging reputation as a progressive city and will negatively impact economic and community development. Students need you to contact your Pittsburgh City Council members.
Talking Points: Taxing Students is Illegal and Unfair
- Many students also work in the City of Pittsburgh and pay City Wage taxes and the Local
- Most students and/or their parents pay real estate taxes either directly as homeowners or
through their rental payments.
- Students also pay the Regional Asset District Tax, Amusement Tax and Parking Tax.
- As presented, the tax will charge a student between $27 and $400 per year for the privilege
of studying at his or her school. These students attend school approximately eight months
per year. Compare this to the $52 Local Services Tax per year that individuals living outside
the City of Pittsburgh and working in the City pay, even though they may be earning
anywhere from $4,000 to $4 million over twelve months of employment.
- Both of the City’s financial oversight bodies confirm that the City has not done enough to
reduce expenditures and consolidate services and functions with the County of Allegheny to
lessen its costs.
- The Mayor’s tuition tax proposal is contrary to well established law in Pennsylvania and the
United States. This proposed tax is illegal and unenforceable. It is an unfair and
counterproductive effort to force students to pay for decades of neglect and
mismanagement of the City’s finances and pension fund.
- Education plays a major role in the vibrancy and marketability of this Region. As anchors in
our neighborhoods, we act as economic generators to promote places where people want
to live, work, play and invest, thus bringing more revenues to the City. The Mayor’s
proposal weakens the City’s credibility as a progressive city and will hinder both community
and economic development.
- Pittsburgh’s universities are part of the largest employment sector in the Region and the
only employment sector to add jobs every year since 1995. Additional taxes on students
will discourage attendance at Pittsburgh universities and reverse the job growth they
- Pittsburgh has an emerging reputation as a dynamic, innovative college town. Taxing
students will ruin that positive reputation.
Pass this along to all alumni that you know.