Friday, December 11, 2009

Mayor Sets Deadline for Universities

There could be a showdown Monday on Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's proposed 1% tax on college tuition. Ravenstahl has given the city's universities and colleges an ultimatum: if they agree to contribute $5 million a year for 5 years to the city, then that will negate the need for what Ravenstahl calls the "Fair Share Tax." But if he doesn't hear from them by Monday, the mayor will urge City Council to approve the tuition tax. Council has twice delayed a vote for a week to allow for further discussions. The mayor has 5 supporters on council for his tax but terms for 2 of them, Jim Motznik and Tonya Payne end December 31.
Councilman Ricky Burgess says when it comes time for council to vote on the tax, he will introduce an amendment to push back the effective date six months to July 1, 2010. He says the delay will give universities more time to come to an agreement on voluntary payments instead of imposing the tax on students.
Councilwoman Theresa Smith has scheduled a meeting for 2 p.m. Monday in council chambers concerning the tuition tax.

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