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Pittsburgh To Tax Students

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the this-will-go-over-well dept.

Education 344

societyofrobots writes "Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl has proposed taxing college and professional students for the privilege of receiving an education in the city. The proposed tax will charge students in the city at a rate of 1% of their yearly tuition — which, at Carnegie Mellon, would mean roughly a $400 tax (PDF) on most students. As the tax proposal hit local media outlets this week, the mayor repeatedly emphasized the burden that college students have placed on city services, and the need for students to pay their 'fair share.'"

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dumb idea (5, Insightful)

lpaul55 (137990) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183942)

That's a way to dumb down the city.

Re:dumb idea (5, Funny)

Tsar (536185) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183966)

That's a way to dumb down the city.

Too late!

Re:dumb idea (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30184014)

Can I ask what's wrong with it?

I admit that at first it does look or read like it is a poor sentence, but I can't actually see anything wrong with it;

"That's a way to dumb down the city."
"That is a way to dumb down the city."

He even had the capital and full stop.

(Anon because it's off topic)

Re:dumb idea (2, Insightful)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#30184046)

Can I ask you why you think the parent thought that there was anything wrong with the spelling or grammar in the grandparent?
The parent clearly and obviously wanted to imply that the city already is dumb, so it's too late to dumb it down. I don't see how this relates in any way to the correctness of the English in the grandparent.

Re:dumb idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30184070)

I do not believe Tsar is saying the sentence is dumb, just that the residents of the city went dumb years ago.

Re:dumb idea (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183994)

If a 1% tax is $400, that means that the tuition is about $40,000. The students paying $40,000 are just going to pay the $400, they don't care.

Re:dumb idea (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30184080)

Well, chances are even someone with a $40,000 scholarship will have to pay that $400.

Re:dumb idea (1)

Golddess (1361003) | more than 4 years ago | (#30184112)

You're assuming that either a) those students are paying for their tuition up front, or b) the $400 tax can be added on to their existing student loans.

But if they've deferred their education costs till after graduation, but the $400 is due right away, then yeah, I can see the students possibly caring.

Re:dumb idea (2, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 4 years ago | (#30184274)

Student loans don't just cover tuition. They also cover books, rent, food, and taxes on all those items. In Canada where I live, they make sure you pay your tuition, but after that, the remaining goes in your account. I don't see why they wouldn't be able to pay the tax out of a student loan. Also, I doubt the average tuition is $40,000. If you are from in state, and going to a state school, you might pay $5000 a year, which puts your tax fee at more like $50. Granted, I still think this is stupid. Students already pay property tax (through their rent). They shouldn't have to pay extra tax just because they are going to school. Maybe the schools can fight back and charge $1 tuition, and $9999 administrative fees. I know my school had a tuition freeze, so they just increased the administration fee. It would be a smart school to use that to their advantage.

Re:dumb idea (2, Informative)

torstenvl (769732) | more than 4 years ago | (#30184362)

Carnegie Mellon is not a state school. Their tuition is $40,300 per year. []

It's often best to know what you're talking about before opening your mouth.

Re:dumb idea (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30184376)

Of course plenty of individuals will 'care' (most of whom will probably bitch about it while consuming alcohol, maybe 5 or something will switch schools), but in aggregate, CMU will have zero problems achieving full enrollment, regardless of this tax.

Re:dumb idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30184148)

My kid goes to a university that "costs" $28k per year. But after scholarships, financial aid, etc, the cost is only $14k.

I happen to also live on $28k per year after paying taxes and I can tell you that $400 is a significant chunk of change.

Student effect on economy (4, Insightful)

DeadPixels (1391907) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183952)

While it's true that the students don't pay regular taxes like other residents, what about the fact that they bring a huge amount of disposable income and spend it in the city? The money goes to the local businesses, who in turn pay taxes on their revenue. Seems fair enough to me.

Re:Student effect on economy (5, Insightful)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183982)

What do you mean students don't pay taxes like other residents? Do they get exemptions from sales and gas taxes? Do their landlords not pay property taxes that get included in the rents they pay? If they take jobs in the city don't they pay state income taxes that get partially recycled to the city?

Re:Student effect on economy (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30184400)

I'm not defending higher taxes, but I want to give some context, Pittsburgh has a high percentage of it's economy that comes from non-profit entities such as universities and hospitals from which they don't collect the same amount of taxes as they would from a for profit company. This has always been a problem for Pittsburgh, even when the economy wasn't bad. And while the students do pay some local taxes (sales taxes, etc) other people who work in Pittsburgh pay those taxes, plus they also pay income taxes. So, in general, students pay less taxes per person compared to other employed people. A fairness argument is tough to gauge though. Is it fair to tax to students on tuition (money that students need to PAY compared to income that they EARN)? Is it fair to charge more to CMU students compared to Pitt students just because they pay more tuition? Are they going to take into account the level of student aid you get? Do students use up the same level of city services as other people who work in the city? They don't tend to drive much. Campuses have their own police forces. This is something that has been coming for some time. I was once audited by the City of Pittsburgh while at CMU because I received a health insurance benefit from a previous employer and they made me prove that I could legitimately file taxes as a resident of another state. They were pretty reasonable about it and didn't end up charging me anything, but I've heard a lot a similar stories. I think another part of it is that many students (particularly at CMU) are from somewhere else and the city sees them as an opportunity to tax "outsiders".

Re:Student effect on economy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30184436)

If you pick us, do we not bleed!?

Re:Student effect on economy (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183984)

Moreover, doesn't the university pay taxes? And where exactly does the taxed income of the university come from? I'd guess it's paid by the students.

Re:Student effect on economy (3, Informative)

MikeD83 (529104) | more than 4 years ago | (#30184038)

In Boston most colleges and universities are exempt from property taxes. The city has been trying for years to figure out ways to squeeze them for the extra cash. We've heard the "pay their fair share" argument as well.Boston Globe Article []

Re:Student effect on economy (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30184324)

In Boston most colleges and universities are exempt from property taxes.

That is because the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, in its infinite wisdom, has declared that these colleges and universities are charities, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has decided that charities don't pay property tax.

Don't like it? Change the law.

And frankly, without the large educational sector in Boston, the city would be a run-down industrial dinosaur like Pittsburgh or Detroit. There would be no thriving biotech or IT sector in Boston without all the educational spin-offs and a large pool of skilled labor.

Re:Student effect on economy (1)

torstenvl (769732) | more than 4 years ago | (#30184370)

And frankly, without the large educational sector in Boston, the city would be a run-down industrial dinosaur like Pittsburgh or Detroit. There would be no thriving biotech or IT sector in Boston without all the educational spin-offs and a large pool of skilled labor.

Yeah, seriously. Kendall Square is a hugely important part of the Boston economy.

Re:Student effect on economy (1)

BLKMGK (34057) | more than 4 years ago | (#30184340)

Okay property taxes... but what about income tax? Taxes paid on utilities? Taxes paid by employees of the school? Many towns would LOVE to host a prestigious school. The numbers of people they employ, the increase in residency, the money from parents coming to visit... all of these are GOOD reasons to want a school in the community. Certainly there are some burdens like utilities (taxed) that come into play and the need to police the kids but overall I'd think having a school in most towns would be a blessing. It's pretty sad that some cities don't see this and instead seem jealous and greedy about it. Heaven forbid residents get a shot at some quality education locally and I'd imagine that at least some students like the area enough to stay - that's got to increase the educated population some. Seems pretty short sighted of these communities. What's such a burden exactly? Is it simply they have a tax shortfall and this is an easy target? Sure seems like it...

Re:Student effect on economy (1)

jschen (1249578) | more than 4 years ago | (#30184344)

Not sure about Boston, but in nearby Cambridge, Harvard and MIT have arranged agreements with the city to contribute hundreds of millions of dollars to the city over time in order to be good citizens and compensate for the lack of property taxes from them.

Re:Student effect on economy (1)

ImOnlySleeping (1135393) | more than 4 years ago | (#30184468)

That is because Boston wants universities in Boston because of all the other benefits of having hundreds of thousands of students drop all the cash and all the staff that get employed and all the staff's property taxes and sales taxes and so on. It's not like they forgot to tax universities, it was done intentionally to lure them in.

Re:Student effect on economy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30184238)

So, if you are an out of state resident, you are paying something like close to ten times the price for school than if you are from the state.... the reasoning behind?.... I've heard people from schools state that it is because you don't pay taxes in the state.

And... if you get in state tuition at a lower price... that means that you have lived in the state... and probably paid taxes all your life...

So what's the deal now with the"burden" the students create?... either you paid taxes all your life... or you are paying close to ten times the amount of money your other in state citizens pay...

Re:Student effect on economy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30184278)

Who cares? There are $400 more where the $40000 yearly tuition came from. Seriously, one percent is $400? Are you paying for a personal 24/7 teacher or what do you get for $40000? Your courses aren't one on one, are they? If I were a politician and I'd see students being ripped off like that, I'd try to get in on it too.

Re:Student effect on economy (0)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 4 years ago | (#30184288)

The universities are tax exempt charity institutions. Both CMU and UPitt along with a bunch of smaller colleges like Chatham occupy lots of space and valuable real estate and are exempted from taxes. They consume lots and lots city services during their games and their use of public spaces for their protests and cultural events and such like. Back when Pittsburgh had lots of corporate HQ and steel mills paying taxes, the additional services did not pose a significant burden on the city.

Pittsburgh's economy was never a single industry town like Detroit. It had steel of course, but it also had coal, glass, paint, textiles, Heinz and railroads. But over the last three decades it lost almost all of them. Now the city infrastructure is crumbling. The univs had some prior agreements to "voluntarily" pay money to the city despite their tax exempt status, because the univs knew the kind of burden they are placing on the city. Right now there is bickering about negotiating the amount for the next five years are so. So all these things are grand standing by different parties to stake out their negotiating positions.

The city is just acting stupidly by threatening to tax the students and tuition fees. It should simply reduce police and fire services to the univ neighbourhoods and ask the univs to hire private security for protection and refuse to maintain things like synchronized traffic lights and traffic by pass and other such things. Also it should charge market rates for their sewer connections, water supplies and use of public spaces for utilities. The univs will come back begging to give up their tax exempt status and agree to pay real estate taxes like all other residents and businesses are paying. In fact if their tax exempt status is revoked, almost all the businesses and private property owners will see a big reduction in their tax bills.

Blame the greedy CMU that charges 48000$ a year from their students, sits on billion dollars worth of prime real estate and refuses to bear its fair share of the cost of providing civic services passing the burden on the shrinking tax base.

Re:Student effect on economy (1)

dogmatixpsych (786818) | more than 4 years ago | (#30184310)

I'm not meaning my comment as a troll but the point you made is one many Democratic politicians do not seem to understand. I'm sure there are many Republicans who do not understand this either. Politicians just often have a very limited view of tax revenue.

"they bring a huge amount of disposable income" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30184366)

that's odd... I thought students were all poor and can't afford music/movies/games/programs. Where did this magic disposable income suddenly come from? /sarcasm

Dartmouth v Woodward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30183972)

Finally an answer to the obscene amount of power Dartmouth v. Woodward gave private colleges.

Wrong! (4, Insightful)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183976)

Students bring tons of money into an area. This fool is going to drive the students to another city. Heh....I wonder if he talked it over with the Universities before he did it?

Re:Wrong! (3, Interesting)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30184008)

After thinking about it, I bet the Mayor doesn't care about the truth. He simply wants more money, and if he can sell the average, not-so-bright Pittsburgh voter on the idea that students are "getting a free ride", then he can start vacuuming wallets and making himself... er, his budget wealthier.

Re:Wrong! (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 4 years ago | (#30184196)

I'm not sure how that compares to the money other people bring, and to the costs.

Re:Wrong! (3, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 4 years ago | (#30184292)

Also, many students who go to school in a city, are more likely to stay in that city to work. If you don't have any college graduates living in your city, your city will quickly devolve into an uneducated mess. I learned that playing SimCity. Surely they can figure this one out.

Re:Wrong! (1)

JimXugle (921609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30184394)

One of the Tax-ees here:

I'd say that he didn't talk it over with the Universities.

Re:Wrong! (1)

Grygus (1143095) | more than 4 years ago | (#30184498)

I think it is just as likely that it's a political ploy and he doesn't really care whether it passes. He's created an us-vs-them scenario that should resonate with residents whether it works or not.

I'm no master politician but... (5, Funny)

PingSpike (947548) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183978)

...wouldn't just raising the booze tax accomplish the same thing?

Re:I'm no master politician but... (2)

Sheepeep (994464) | more than 4 years ago | (#30184050)

Yeah, but he has to sell the idea. I'd wager that a lot more people drink booze than go to colleges and universities...

Re:I'm no master politician but... (5, Interesting)

The Ultimate Fartkno (756456) | more than 4 years ago | (#30184176)

Easy. Just pander to the people who a) don't drink, or b) pretend that they don't. "Sin taxes" are becoming increasingly popular among the holier-than-thou voting crowd who look at it as a way to get everyone else to pay a tax increase while they get off free because "it's bad for you! You deserve it!"

"First they came for the smokers, and I said nothing because I was not a smoker. Then they came for the McNuggets and suddenly I cared because ZOMG MY FREEDOM!"

Re:I'm no master politician but... (1)

Slop121 (1030354) | more than 4 years ago | (#30184254)

Actually, in Allegheny County (where Pittsburgh is), there is already a 10% poured drink tax. Meaning that every drink that is poured at a bar has 10% tacked on to it automatically. This was enacted last year, and there is no way that the Mayor could keep his job if he decided to increase that tax. A lot of politicians already got booted because of it.

pay their 'fair share.' (5, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183980)

They already do shithead Mayor. Students pay:

- property tax (included in the school's tuition and the dorm room rental fees)
- sales tax (by buying local products)
- gas tax or road tolls (when they drive around)

This story reminds me of Baltimore City Council, which keeps trying to tax neighboring counties on the theory that suburban folks work in the city, or visit the Raven stadium, but don't pay taxes. (Except that they do - via state income tax and sales tax and providing income to stadium/restaurant/other inner city workers.) Same stupid first-order level of thinking. These politicians need to dig deeper.

Re:pay their 'fair share.' (4, Insightful)

nycguy (892403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30184084)

These politicians need to dig deeper.

They are...into your pockets.

Re:pay their 'fair share.' (1)

arkenian (1560563) | more than 4 years ago | (#30184264)

Sir, you are forgetting one very important point: of those three things, only the property tax usually goes to the city. And, in fact, the students often do NOT pay that. Universities are non profits, and in may states, non-profits don't pay property taxes. He at least has some measure of a valid complaint here. I would say, though, that for most cities, universities raise property values, so its not entirely valid. Plus while many students live in the dorms, in any university of significant size in a major city like pittsburgh, many do not as well.

Re:pay their 'fair share.' (1)

Slop121 (1030354) | more than 4 years ago | (#30184312)

Pittsburgh has that already. We live just outside of the city, but my wife works in the city; so logically we pay a yearly tax directly to the city because she works there and doesn't live there.... Good times.

Re:pay their 'fair share.' (1, Troll)

kjart (941720) | more than 4 years ago | (#30184404)

If you're willing to spend $40,000/year to go to college already, I'm sorry but $400 isn't going to kill you. It's 1% - get over it.

Re:pay their 'fair share.' (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30184464)


???. Tuition plus room/board is closer to $10,000 for a public school. What kind of college did YOU go to? Anyway it's more like a 4% tax. Plus interest because most students have to borrow the money from a bank.

Re:pay their 'fair share.' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30184500)

They already do shithead Mayor. Students pay:

- property tax (included in the school's tuition and the dorm room rental fees)
- sales tax (by buying local products)
- gas tax or road tolls (when they drive around)

This story reminds me of Baltimore City Council, which keeps trying to tax neighboring counties on the theory that suburban folks work in the city, or visit the Raven stadium, but don't pay taxes. (Except that they do - via state income tax and sales tax and providing income to stadium/restaurant/other inner city workers.) Same stupid first-order level of thinking. These politicians need to dig deeper.

The universities are tax exempt and that is that major problem. All the land and buildings are property tax exempt. The universities also own a ton of housing that are not dorms. They pay $0 property tax on those.

Sales tax - OK, I'll give you that. Remember, the city is taxing them, not the state or the county. Our sales tax goes to them and not the city. Grated a portion of the tax ends up there.

Road tolls - Those tolls go to support existing Turnpike roads or financing new ones. Let's not get into the whole Mon-Fayette Expressway money pit. Those road tolls do nothing for the city roads.

Gas tax - All university students can ride public transportation for free. That is included in their existing tuition. Granted they pay for it. Don't even get me started on the bloated Port Authority who runs mass transit.

Pittsburgh problems is that they have a ton of legacy costs due to pensions that they can not get out from under.

burden? (1)

anonymous9991 (1582431) | more than 4 years ago | (#30184010)

burden? what burden? these students spend money locally and give enough money to the city already. Just what burden are they doing, buying coffee and office supplies? 'Those darn students and all their learning, what a burden. They should have just dropped out and been a benefit to society'. I can't believe how many dumb taxes that have no merit keep coming up. Lets call this what it really is GREED GREED GREED

Politicians always come up with a bullshit reason (3, Insightful)

nanospook (521118) | more than 4 years ago | (#30184022)

We are going to tax you because.. "blah blah blah blah". No one believes them because they will then turn around and "waste" money the next time. We fought the British off and then turned around and just did it to ourselves. If they are short of money, maybe they should get some higher education "smart" people from MIT to look at "innovative" ways to cut costs or do things "smarter" and "cheaper". Any corporation worth its salt has this approach and sells it to their employees as well as a corporate standard. Better faster cheaper. Instead we have the politicians (who are not living in a dingy one bedroom trying to get an education, maybe raising a kid or working 3 jobs) who keep the status quo the same year after year and show no innovation toward bettering the lives of the people. They stifle innovation and change just by their very existence.. Another example of government? The blinking yellow lights where you have to drop to 20 miles and hour during school hours. I drive a 30 minute commute and on that road, there are 3-4 areas like this. The problem though.. no kids! In the 3 years I've taken this route, I've yet to see any kids crossing the road at these locations. Yet every day, huge numbers of cars have to slow down, causing traffic congestion, wasting time, because some politician said "protect the kids, blah blah blah, do it for the kids". I'm not impressed.. we always go for bigger organizations instead of smaller ones that can do a better job in a localized area..

odd (1)

jointm1k (591234) | more than 4 years ago | (#30184028)

privilege of receiving an education in the city

As opposed to the countryside students who have to pay for the right to study?

An end to fiscal woes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30184032)

Just tax stupidity, with higher rates the higher up in government you are. End the deficit once and for all.

Re:An end to fiscal woes (1)

trickyD1ck (1313117) | more than 4 years ago | (#30184444)

are you a racist?

Students need to do a economic demonstration (5, Interesting)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 4 years ago | (#30184040)

1. Get $2 bills and dollar coins and use them for all their purchases for two weeks.

2. Then spend a week or two not spending a dime - ideally until they've saved the $400 tax.

3. Publicize it. Write articles in the student paper and letters to the editor.

4. Sit back and watch the results. Lather, rinse and repeat.

5. Profit?

Seriously, students need to show their economic impact on the local community. Using money not normally used will help make that point.

Re:Students need to do a economic demonstration (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30184222)

Warning: absurdly long post with 99.9% textual content. If you're not interested, skip it, no harm done. If interested, read on.

RC, I don't know how much you know about me, or even how much you *want* to know, but I figure I should open up and share, since I'm asking a favor. If it's too long, you can just skim: I know I tend to babble at the mouth sometimes. The important bit is at the end anyway.

My soon-to-be-ex and I have been living in this house for three years now. Almost exactly three years to the day when he moved out, to move in with his new fiancee. I've been without a job since I got laid off last fall, and despite looking nearly every day for a solid year now, so far I haven't even been asked to an interview. Credit bills have been going unpaid, grocery budgets tight, etc. Some weeks, because we had to buy dog food *and* cat food *and* gas, we'd have almost nothing left for human food. I always put the animals first, even though hubby objected: the dogs lived primarily outside, and as such I felt they should get better quality food; the cats, while they are indoors-only (busy area, too dangerous), include individuals with weakened immune systems, and I'm happy to do anything for them to help them out.

When we moved into this house, we had, so far as cats go, Fred, Socks, Romeo, Fluffy, Butters and Mom, taken in from our apartment complex; Mom's kittens; plus our set of previous cats. That set includes Kitty (rescued from the street near a city health clinic), Moira (rescued from the euthanasia section of the city animal prison), Galileo and Seiyuu (kittens born to a stray in the apartment complex), and Skinny (a friendly stray who showed up one day with a giant gaping hole in the side of her neck).

Fred was a big strong tom cat who'd been adopted by some neighbors. Who would not let Fred come inside, and the man refused to get him fixed, because he did not want to 'take away the guy's manhood'. His tiny water bowl was usually bone dry and they didn't feed him much, so I'd put out food and water on my own patio for him. Then the neighbors moved away, and left Fred there. Nobody else claimed him, so we brought him with us when we moved, and gave him a home indoors. It turns out, however, that Fred had caught feline leukemia, and about a year and a half later, after refusing to display weakness while I was watching, one day ended up laying in his litter box, unable to move his hind legs. Leukemia gave him a spinal tumor. Prednisone brought it down some, but eventually he ended up in renal failure, although I didn't recognize it at the time; he died one night, the day before I was going to take him in to the vet. But he died curled up on a rug, with blankets, in a nice soft house where people loved him, instead of lying paralyzed out in the woods, alone.

Socks, Romeo, Fluffy, and Butters.. I don't know where they came from, but they'd come to our patio for food, so we trapped and brought them with us when we moved, because I couldn't stand leaving them there, where kids were encouraged to throw rocks at them, or hit them, or shoot them with BB guns. It turns out Socks was already been pretty old: we had him (and Butters and Romeo and Fred and Fluffy) in at the vet's temporarily, while we finished building the room in the house for them (yes, this house has a cat room: vinyl floor, multiple litter boxes, a mattress and things to climb on, etc.), and he developed what looked like an auto-immune disease. Doc couldn't figure out exactly what it was, but she said he looked ten or twelve years old, which is old for a hard-living stray, and he ended up dying a few days later. I kind of feel bad that he died sitting in the vet's office, but.. there, he had the whole staff mooning over him and taking care of him. At the complex, he would've been half-blind and half-paralyzed out in the woods. So I guess we still did some good by him.

Fluffy had had a kitten, shortly before we moved out, on a different neighbor's patio. The kitten had no water or anything, and was old enough that just nursing wouldn't cut it anymore, but was too small to jump the fence and get out, and too big for Fluffy to jump with him. So, after a rousing chase around the patio, because the kitten had never seen friendly people before, I retrieved the kitten, bringing him to our own patio, with food and water and easy access to his mother (who watched the whole process with something that seemed like bemusement). A friend ended up adopting the kitten, but it turns out he (and Fluffy) had feline leukemia. He died several months later, after we'd moved, but Fluffy is still here, and is still bemused.

Romeo also has leukemia, though Butters managed to avoid it. Probably because Butters is terrified of everything, and would have avoided a fight. He's feeling a lot better since I've gotten him on anti-anxiety medication, and Romeo is his best friend. Romeo is kind of everybody's best friend, because (and I say this with love), Romeo is too stupid to know any different. I don't know how he survived out there; dumb luck, I guess. He really is awfully stupid. But I love him anyway, and so does Butters, and they're both doing just fine.

Then we come to Mom. Mom is the source of a lot of heartache in this house, through no fault of her own. She showed up at the complex with a very injured right hind leg. I have no idea what happened to her, but she still limps on it sometimes, and her toenails got mangled such that they grow kind of together now, and there's a bald patch on her heel. I made sure she got food and water, and, surprise surprise, she ended up pregnant. Eventually one day, she showed up at the sliding glass door, meowing frantically.. I opened the door, and voom, she rushed in, white lump of something in her mouth, into the bedroom, up and over the night stand, and deposited a baby kitten. Then made three more trips to get three more babies. They were maybe a day old. It was interesting, at first, because while she obviously trusted us enough to put her babies in our apartment, she was still extremely feral, and if you moved too quickly, she'd turn around and attack you. Handling the babies was just fine, as long as she could see us and they weren't squalling too much, but she only had so much trust in her. She's a lap-cat now, and even does tricks, but back then, if you thought you might have to handle her, you brought thick leather gloves. Once the kittens started moving around, and we were worried we'd hurt them moving around at night (or get hurt by Mom, for moving too much), we cleared the closet floor and moved her and the babies in there. She took to it right away, and things went well.

When the kittens were a month old, she really really *really* wanted to go outside. She hadn't been out since the kittens were born, but I called and checked with my vet at the time anyway, and they said no, she can't get pregnant if she's still nursing, it's safe, she probably just wants to go run around outside, since it's been so long. Well. Turns out they *can* get pregnant while they're still nursing. She only wanted out that one day, and she was only out for about 20 minutes, but that was apparently enough. Two months later there were five more kittens, just in time for us to move into the house.

Problem is, Mom (and therefore her kittens) has feline leukemia. So, over the past few years, we've been through some horrible, awful, terrible things that I would not wish on anyone. Only one kitten survives: Abby, from the first litter. We've lost Dot, Dash, Ravi, Tinkerbell, Blue, Samira, Akash and Prince. Every single one of those kids was a fighter, and had some amazing moments. Samira developed her tumor and paralysis shortly after Fred did, and hers was almost as bad, but as soon as she was on prednisone, boom, all hint of weakness was gone, she was back to her four-footed self. Same with Prince. Dot was the hardest: she was the first, and she wasn't quite six months old. And she had pleural effusion; if you know what that is, you know how bad it was to watch a tiny little young cat go through it. Dash and Ravi had the same eventual problem. Then Pinkers and Blue both had brain tumors, with seizures and eventually blindness. Tinkerbell's death was the most horrible thing, though: one day she had a bad seizure, and when she came out of it, she was completely blind, and couldn't walk anymore (she could stand, sorta, but she'd stumble, and couldn't move in anything remotely like a coordinated fashion). Taking her to the vet's office scared her silly (understandable, really), and Doc ended up having to inject the drug straight into her heart. She and the tech and I were all really upset by it; even now, it bothers me.

But, of the deaths we've experienced.. Socks died quietly, even though he was at the vet's office.. Fred died quietly at home, as did Blue, Samira, Akash and Prince. I think I did the best I could for them. On Prince's last day, he was uncomfortable and unhappy, but he cried horribly if I left him alone. As long as I was there, he would curl up against me and try to sleep, so I just sat there, on the bathroom floor with him (that's the room he wanted to be in, although I have no idea why), all day. I left once to get a pillow to lean against and a book to read, came back and calmed him down, and then just stayed there. I did talk to the emergency clinic, and they said sure, they could put him to sleep, but it'd be the $80 emergency fee, plus $250, and I wouldn't get to be there with him, they'd just hold him until they had a slow moment to take care of it. Which was *not* going to happen. So I stayed with my little Prince all day, and when he finally died that night, he wasn't upset and crying and terrified and alone, he was curled up in my arms, safe and warm and loved.

RC asked late last week how I deal with the heartache. It's simple: I will do my damnedest to provide the best I can for these guys, no matter what it takes. Just knowing that I've helped them live a happier, longer, more loved life than they would have otherwise is all the return I need for it. If I'd left Mom and those kittens back at the apartment, do you even want to consider what the ends of their lives would've been like? Could any of you do that to an animal? I know I couldn't. So, yeah, it's heartache, but I'd rather know I did everything I could to help them live the longest, happiest lives possible than leave them to the winds like that.

The problem is, I'm jobless, and Joe's moved out, and while originally he'd given me six more months of his income, now he's lost his job as well. The irony is, I'd just gotten a good solid lead on a job option the day before he got laid off. It would require a few months of study, and I'd have to take the certification test the next time it comes around in the spring (which of course also costs money), but the source I talked to assured me there are always openings, and the pay is pretty good. Plus there are ample opportunities for advancement, so it was a great idea. Except now I don't have six months of income anymore, and it's looking like I'm going to be homeless in another two or three weeks, because neither one of us has any savings. The name on the house is Joe's, and he's determined that if he can't afford to keep it, he's going to dump it, because he doesn't need it. He's given me a few weeks to sort things out, but.. I don't have anywhere to go. I have no friends to live with, my only relative lives in a tiny apartment with two roommates, one of whom is already sleeping on the sofa, and they live 2500 miles away anyway. But the worst part? The cats have nowhere to go either. I've got 11 cats with me (we added Sweetie, another rescue, after living here for a year), facing euthanasia as their most likely option. Romeo, Skinny, Mom, Abby and Fluffy all have leukemia; Moira is blind in his left eye and has begun marking; Kitty is 10, and has litter box issues; Galileo has mouth problems, and marks; Seiyuu hates *everybody*; and Butters is on anxiety medication, and I'm still working on getting him using litter boxes, instead of just sneaking off to go in the nearest corner. The only cat I've got that is considered adoptable is Sweetie. There aren't any no-kill shelters around here, and no friends who could take them in. I don't have anywhere to go, but even worse, if I end up homeless, the only real option for these cats is taking them to a shelter where they'll be euthanized.

Which brings me to the favor. If I can find a couple thousand people with ten bucks to spare, that would pay for everything for me and the kitties for the next six months, so I could do the schooling and take the test and get a job, and they'd be able to continue living their warm happy furry lives, here in a house where they get almost nothing but love (sometimes they get yelled at, but not too much; despite all their problems, they manage to get along well with each other most of the time). If you've got ten bucks you don't need, I'd be so grateful if you'd consider passing it my way. I don't have much to offer in the way of gratitude.. the best I can think of is that for every 100 donations, I'll take and post a new picture of the kitties for everybody to enjoy. So.. click the picture of Prince, below, and that will take you to PayPal, then use the email address from my profile (skloak at gmail) as the recipient of your donation. Thanks, in advance, everybody, for anything you can do, and if I somehow manage to hit the magical 2000 donations, I'll .. well, heck, maybe I'll actually post a picture of myself, then. Although you're free to suggest other ideas, because I can't imagine that would appeal to everyone :)

Thanks so much.

Re:Students need to do a economic demonstration (1)

JimXugle (921609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30184440)

A More effective route would be to get a couple hundred students to picket the City-County building in downtown.

If anyone else but the government collected taxes: (0, Troll)

NanepubPncvgnyvfg (1663251) | more than 4 years ago | (#30184042)

... they'd go to jail.

A crime should be a crime no matter who commits it.

Re:If anyone else but the government collected tax (2, Interesting)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 4 years ago | (#30184104)

Tell that to my HOA.

Re:If anyone else but the government collected tax (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30184172)

Man, you should take your show on to YouTube, they would worship you like a god there.

By that argument, police officers should be charged for "impersonating a police officer", heck it's a crime if I do it and a crime is a crime no matter who commits it, right?

Some smartypants will say that a police officer has the duly constituted authority to act as a police officer, but then if that bit of sophistry is true then governments could also claim to be duly constituted authorities with regard to taxation, right? Better toss the police in jail rather than risk that ... of course what prison guards do is really legalized kidnapping, so ...

The mayor is being a dipshit, but you'll need better arguments if you plan on stopping him.

Re:If anyone else but the government collected tax (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 4 years ago | (#30184330)

The mayor is being a dipshit, but you'll need better arguments if you plan on stopping him.

Conservation of dipshits?

Re:If anyone else but the government collected tax (1)

NanepubPncvgnyvfg (1663251) | more than 4 years ago | (#30184506)

By that argument, police officers should be charged for "impersonating a police officer", heck it's a crime if I do it and a crime is a crime no matter who commits it, right?

Umm, no. I was referring to true crimes... crimes that actually hurt people, like theft, murder, and so on. Police officers who violate rights or throw people in jail for non-crimes should be thrown in jail or should pay restitution to their victims, however... as should anyone else who does those things.

of course what prison guards do is really legalized kidnapping, so ...

Oh yes, of course that's EXACTLY what I said...

Some smartypants will say that a police officer has the duly constituted authority to act as a police officer

So? This doesn't mean they should be granted special rights. All men are created equal... right? So then why should the police be able to break into someone's home in the middle of the night, arrest him at gunpoint, and rough him up a bit without consequence? Why should the police be able to keep you from doing something on your property that's hurting no one else? Would anyone else be allowed to do that? No, so then the police shouldn't be able to, either.

Doesn't mean there shouldn't be anybody bringing down criminals, it means everyone should play by the same rules. You may NOT aggress against me unless you're trying to prevent me from aggressing against someone else. If you commit a crime against me you MUST deal with the consequences as anyone else would.

The mayor is being a dipshit, but you'll need better arguments if you plan on stopping him.

Silly me, to think that I would ever believe that throwing a mayor in jail for theft would be a good way to stop him... better to focus on the small time thieves on the streets who steal wallets from old ladies, they're easier to hate because they don't pretend to be your Messiah.

Positive Spin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30184076)

I am sure there will be an apologist on this thread. Personally, in a sardonic way I think it's great! People are getting what they deserve. People want to play football jersey politics or not be involved in government then this is what you get. It's funny now that governments are short money and people are opposed to being fleeced anymore that they first thing elected officials do is cut essential services e.g. police, fireman. At least that's what they are doing in my city. We have to be punished like the good little serfs we are.

Typical liberal thinking (0, Flamebait)

Jeff_Birt (1683426) | more than 4 years ago | (#30184088)

I live in a small town that grows in population by 1/3 when the local university is in session. Students pour a lot of money into our local economy through paying rent, eating, shopping, working, etc, etc. This is just a typical liberal money grab. Next thing around the corner, pay Obama for the privilege of receiving Gvmt health care.

Anon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30184092)

They already tried to tax surrounding counties to pay for the football and baseball stadiums. Everyone said up yours.

Students are always unappreciated. This is sick. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30184102)

As a former student used to getting shit on by the city and cops I have these points to make:

1. Pay to much rent to live in a campus apartment.
2. Pay to much to eat on campus.
3. Pay to much to buy liquor on campus.
4. Pay for professors and related expenses.
5. Support a lot of local business.
6. Do volunteer work and (they may not like this) get politically active.
7. Work for next to nothing.
8. Support sports programs - big money on my campus.
9. Pay big fines when the cops bust us for anything.

With all of the goods and services that we consume, how is it that students don't pay their fair share?
Universities often times are the single largest economic drivers in their cities precisely because of students.

Does this apply to 2 year schools where often times the poorest oldest students go?
The notion of trying to tax people trying to improve their lives simply because they are trying to improve their lives is sick.
Why not tax some rich assholes paying only 15% on their dividend income - raise property taxes in nice neighborhoods.

Re:Students are always unappreciated. This is sick (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30184368)

Former student because you flunked???

Pay TOO much...

cops bust us for anything...ILLEGAL.

Education (1)

lazylocomotives (1645339) | more than 4 years ago | (#30184108)

Ah, yes..this is EXACTLY what they need to improve their education!

Really, though, I hope the idea doesn't spread...I see the potential for it to. People already have enough problems paying for their education...I can't imagine this encouraging anyone to want to get a good one.

reality: students are constantly fucked over (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30184110)

It makes no sense to me why when budgets need to be slashed it's always the students who get it first. In California, students just had their tuitions hiked 32% [] per semester.

It's insane and incredibly backward-looking. CA has a $20+ billion budget shortfall, and an insane political process that requires a supermajority vote to pass a tax increase-- or any budget at all.

As a result, anyone can block anything that even hints at revenue collection, and it's a total clusterfuck.

And students are the first in line to feel the pain.

(don't tell me how cutting taxes stimulates the economy and raises money and the laffer curve and supply side and fleeing jobs and all that... CA's economy has been "stimulated" in this manner for a generation, and it's still fucked.)

I will. (5, Insightful)

NoYob (1630681) | more than 4 years ago | (#30184410)

(don't tell me how cutting taxes stimulates the economy and raises money and the laffer curve and supply side and fleeing jobs and all that... CA's economy has been "stimulated" in this manner for a generation, and it's still fucked.)

The problems that California have is the result of spending more that it earns. It's as simple as that. The economy was booming and tax revenues went through the roof because of it. Their tax policy, as far as income was concerned, wasn't too bad. Unfortunately, on April 15th in past years, the California legislature sees that huge pile of cash come in and they spent it thinking that California's boom will last forever. The Legislature, especially the liberal Democrats, have no clue about saving for the future or any clue that times do change and there are downturns in an economy.

Every time someone had some sort of project and regardless of its merits, they put money into it. Look now, when they want to cut spending, regardless of where, some special interest protests saying that they are important and the legislature needs to cut somewhere else.

If they had a responsible fiscal plan instead of spending every penny that came in they wouldn't be in this situation.

Laffer said that reducing taxes stimulates the economy as long as government reduces spending to match inflows. The California legislature was too stupid to realize that and they were too beholden to the special interests that always have their hands out for government money.

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30184120)

Stop buying anything from any of the city stores. Mail order everything and when the May0r wonders why business are starting to die in the city tell then sorry we got no money for your city we just go to school only here. Also bet is some one looks closer at the finance's of the city government there will find some "intrsting" things they payed for under the table.

Also new people "younger" need to run for the government offices get the ahols out.

But you get what you vote for...

wow (3, Insightful)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 4 years ago | (#30184124)

Something is really wrong when you tax a student while just having given massive tax cuts to the very rich in the last 7 years.

pay as you go (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30184130)

They should just keep a tab for these alleged city services they provide and then bill the university at the end of the year. I have a feeling this would be something CMU wouldn't care about, but would bankrupt UPitt. The Pittsburgh police dept has to break up partying and deal with vandalism on a daily basis as UPitt. CMU's only charge would be the hazardous waste team having to come out once a year because of something some geek did in the Chemistry lab.

I bet these students support most other taxes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30184134)

...when they apply to the "rich" or those EVIL corporations or in general to "other" people.

They quickly become libertarian when the taxman crawls up their ass.

Wait till your young healthy selfs start paying for universal healthcare.

Re:I bet these students support most other taxes.. (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 4 years ago | (#30184300)

send us your real name and we'll make sure there is no help for you when you get into some catastrophic situation...

"Fair share"? (0, Troll)

NanepubPncvgnyvfg (1663251) | more than 4 years ago | (#30184136)

"Fair" is being able to keep 100% of the money you worked hard to earn.

Re:"Fair share"? (1)

edumacator (910819) | more than 4 years ago | (#30184242)

Yeah! I'm with you...who needs those little niceties taxes get us, like roads and such?

Re:"Fair share"? (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#30184338)

All right, but apart from the sanitation, medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh water system and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?

Re:"Fair share"? (1)

NanepubPncvgnyvfg (1663251) | more than 4 years ago | (#30184378)

You are (incorrectly) assuming that because the government builds the roads (using money it stole from the people -- there is no justification for theft) then that *obviously* means that if the government *didn't* build the roads, we of course wouldn't have them, because who would voluntarily hand over their money to use something like a silly road? I mean, who needs roads, right?

We voluntarily (the only way to do it) pay money to our cable and internet provider, our beer distributors, our grocery stores, our electronic stores, our snow plow guy, our lawn-mowing guy, our plumber, our landlord, and so on, but of course we just couldn't pay to drive on a road, that's just silly.

I should note that in a free society you wouldn't necessarily have to pay to drive on a non-public road, anyway, just like you don't have to pay to visit and post on Slashdot -- there are plenty of alternative, indirect methods of raising income that are just as good, if not better.

Re:"Fair share"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30184380)

Infrastructure is a good thing, welfare is not.

Priorities (4, Insightful)

six11 (579) | more than 4 years ago | (#30184142)

As a CMU student (sort of), this doesn't surprise me, and I invite Luke Ravenstahl to kiss my poor ass. Considering this guy prioritizes money in the most bogo-riffic ways (e.g. spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on fancy trash cans sporting his name [] ) it seems clear he is not and has not been fit to run the city.

Pittsburgh's new economy is fueled by the universities*. Everybody knows this. Taxing the students---those people least able to pay---is akin to cannibalism.

Of course, what will happen is students will just borrow a bit more and stack on a little more debt. So maybe Luke's idea is to get students to hedge their futures on his present financial problems.

* And the Steelers

Oh the Burden of Soon to be Educated and Employed (3, Insightful)

knapper_tech (813569) | more than 4 years ago | (#30184158)

Lifeblood sucking students who contribute nothing to society and ruthlessly download music and movies must pay their toll just like all the rest of us hard working people with income. We all had spare change during school to throw at the municipal government. Why can't they?

And while we're at it, we need to tax other non-contributing members of society who place a burden on social services. I'm all for a tax on K-12 students, a tax on pre-schoolers, a tax on the disabled, senior citizens tax, and a tax on people who have crimes committed against them.

After all, with all the student financing available, they'll just pay it with loans right? So it's like we're actually taxing their future income!

Re:Oh the Burden of Soon to be Educated and Employ (1)

nanospook (521118) | more than 4 years ago | (#30184262)

Sounds like your attitude is part of the problem.. You would make a fine "politician"

how to fight back (1)

anonymous9991 (1582431) | more than 4 years ago | (#30184168)

Taxing students, bailouts for banks, there is only one way for citizens to fight back, stop spending money and start saving it. However most citizens are as greedy as the government and can not stop spending their money. I myself have cut my spending almost 90%, from now on its only buying what I need and nothing else. I am not going to fuel the cycle.

Mayor Ravenstah are you sure this is a good idea? (1)

Caffeinated Geek (948530) | more than 4 years ago | (#30184170)

It would appear that Mayor Ravenstahl isn't familiar with the concept students (like tourists) bring money to his city and you really don't want them to leave. Cities fight to get tourist attractions to come to their city. Of course moving a university is harder than moving an amusement park so I guess it's safe to go after the university students. But if he makes it hard enough on the local universities and their students I'm sure they will find a way to express their displeasure and get rid of him.

Happning in Providence Too (3, Informative)

KevinIsOwn (618900) | more than 4 years ago | (#30184180)

The Mayor of Providence has proposed a similar tax [] in providence, although it would "only" be $150/student as opposed to $400. The arguments being made in both cities seem to be exactly the same: Students need to pay their "fair share". I'm kind of curious how we don't already pay our fair share, though, given that anyone who lives off campus pays property taxes and we bring millions into the local economy. (And in Providence, we're all the local economy has left)

Now I'm not one to go shouting about the Government and taxes, but student taxes are very clearly a form of regressive taxation. It just doesn't make sense to be trying to take money from a group of people who don't have all that much of it in the first place. But that seems to be the trend of taxation lately, more and more regressive so rich people can keep all of their "hard earned" money.

Churches (4, Insightful)

Stiletto (12066) | more than 4 years ago | (#30184192)

Yet, we're still not taxing churches...

There are easier ways to tax students! (2, Insightful)

onionman (975962) | more than 4 years ago | (#30184198)

In our university town there are already taxes in place which are aimed at students without directly naming them as the objects of the laws. Restaurant taxes, Alcohol taxes, Property taxes on rental units, Parking law enforcement strategically biased to certain areas, etc. The Mayor in question really isn't too bright if he's being so direct.

Why don't they tax. . . (3, Funny)

RazorSharp (1418697) | more than 4 years ago | (#30184200)

terrible towels? A 5-10% excise tax on terrible towels would probably bring in millions.

Try This! (1)

b4upoo (166390) | more than 4 years ago | (#30184206)

All college students should leave Pittsburgh! Then the mayor can observe the consequences and decide whether college students have been paying their fair share all along. Sales taxes, jobs created, and willingness of companies to be located in Pittsburgh all relate to colleges being present. The real truth is that Pittsburgh ought to pay students for being willing to put up with that dump of a city.

Who else can we tax? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30184208)

I have always lived under the assumption that our young people need to be
able study and when they are finished they start earning their share in society (so then they start paying taxes).

So, if that is not true, then i think we should re-institute child-labor so children can pay taxes too!
A 4 year old can make great sweaters!


Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30184214)

he plan was rejected. its old news.

How about some other ideas? (4, Funny)

SleepyHappyDoc (813919) | more than 4 years ago | (#30184218)

Why not a politician tax, somewhere around 1% of their annual income, for the privilege of being a politician?

If it's good for the goose, it's good for the gander.

Re:How about some other ideas? (1)

sugapablo (600023) | more than 4 years ago | (#30184358)

I'd be all for it, but basically it would just be a 1% reduction in their pay and save a municipality virtually nothing.

At least they are honest (1)

kingduct (144865) | more than 4 years ago | (#30184228)

Hey, at least they're calling it a tax. In California they call it "raising fees." Either way, it seems like politicians are never willing to tax the rich, but are happy to jack up taxes on the young.

I've been to Pittsburgh (1)

starseeker (141897) | more than 4 years ago | (#30184266)

and frankly, I don't see much reason for the city to exist currently (in an economic sense) except for the presence of its universities. Generally, in that situation, the approach to take is to offer every incentive you can to get businesses and industries INTO the city. And one thing those businesses will need, especially in a modern economy, is well educated students. Pittsburgh seems to have suffered something of a "brain drain" effect in that (naturally enough) folks who would be the foundation and building blocks of economic activity have fled elsewhere for better opportunity. Investment capital appears to have done much the same. The ONE strong asset left to the city is high quality education which brings smart people into geographic proximity with Pittsburgh, and heaping burdens on it strikes me as exactly the wrong approach (ESPECIALLY the students.) Students in higher education ARE a special category - they are the ONLY realistic chance for economic success for both Pittsburgh and the US as a whole in a world economy. They are a limited resource both locally and globally. Education follows good teachers and researchers, just as academic reputation does - make things bad enough and even universities can lose their edge. More to the point, Pittsburgh needs a complete economic overhaul. It might be hard to kill CMU's reputation as long as good people come to the school for the reputation, but if Pittsburgh wants them to STAY and actually start to recreate a new economy from the ruins left by the steel industry they have to make people WANT to stay.

Pittsburgh is in a tough situation, and I understand resentment of any "special" status of students, but they have to realize that a student tax isn't even addressing their larger problems and will do exactly nothing to effect the turnaround Pittsburgh really needs if it is to revitalize itself. Pittsburgh needs to try and KEEP those students, not give them one less reason to be there, because young educated people are the one irreplaceable necessity in any serious drive to build competitive industries.

The whole story... (4, Insightful)

sugapablo (600023) | more than 4 years ago | (#30184290)

The problem is, in Pittsburgh the two major enterprises/employers are colleges and hospital systems. Both non-profit and both tax exempt. They own a tremendous amount of land (tax-free) employ the most people (tax free) and use up a tremendous amount of city services (such as police, ambulance, fire, water, sewage, etc, all tax free). The city has been trying for years to get the universities and hospitals to pay something, ANYTHING to help the city with its budget situation. In other cities where non-profits make up a large percentage of the area, the non-profits usually contribute something in terms of "voluntary payments", such as in Boston. What the mayor is doing, is trying to pressure the universities to come to the negotiating table to help support the city in its time of financial need, using other major cities with major university systems as a model. So far, the universities and hospital systems have refused. (Keep in mind, our major hospital system is UPMC (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center). Luke cares little for this tax and doesn't want it to pass. He want to use it to cause a big firestorm (which obviously it has) and force concessions. We'll see if it works. PA State Reps are already proposing laws to prevent the City of Pittsburgh from being able to tax students directly.

Not just for the kids (1)

cob666 (656740) | more than 4 years ago | (#30184306)

What about older people that are trying to get degrees? Why should a long term resident be charged a tax for going to a private school. I'm not saying that I agree with the tax for the migratory college population, just that nobody has mentioned this subset of the 'revenue stream' yet.

Who is going to tax my tax? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30184308)

I don't see why we don't just pay taxes for our taxes that way it covers the cost of the tax process otherwise how can we afford to tax people?

There is a lot of people breathing air... for free no less and should be taxed on it.

Also babies consume a lot and produce tons of rubbish every year, they contribute nothing back to society and yet are a major burden, I think we should impose a tax on them to cover some of there expenses.

because (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30184342)

spending tens of thousands of dollars every year into the local economy just isnt enough

The right question is ... (1)

jamesl (106902) | more than 4 years ago | (#30184350)

... Would the city be better off financially if there were no students?

US doens't want students (3, Insightful)

googlesmith123 (1546733) | more than 4 years ago | (#30184372)

In a time such as ours. Where so many people are loosing their jobs. And most of the people who lose their jobs have no education. Why then would your want to tax people trying to get an education when you know how much more tax a person with an education is going to pay than a person without an eduction.

In Norway for instance education is free. Yes FREE. We have excellent universities. For instance, Oslo University ranks at 101 at Not only though is it free to study, but the government pays you around 15000 NOK for every semester you complete (for full time students) (2 semesters a year). And not only that, but they give your a further 30000 NOK in loans (per semester) that are interest free until 1 year after you complete your studies.

The way the US treats it's people still puzzles me. Surely putting a strain on people who already have little money to live for just sounds like greed to me.
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