What Fresh Hell Is This?

December 27, 2007

I have a question.

While we see that "UPMC drops tax credit bid" in exchange for its commitment to the Pittsburgh Promise and that they will continue contributing to the Pittsburgh Public Service Fund, I don't see where they state outright that they wouldn't decide to renege on promised Promise funds on their own if they ever end up having to pay taxes.

Did I miss that?

UPDATE: Bob Mayo has pointed me to the answer to my question. His post this morning is full of links including this one which is UPMC's own press release where it states quite clearly that in the event that UPMC is ever taxed, they will give themselves the option to reduce their promised Promise:
“While UPMC will continue to welcome any supportive resolutions from the City Council, none are necessary for our commitment to the Pittsburgh Promise to go forward,” said UPMC general counsel Robert Cindrich. “As has been reported, UPMC’s governing agreement with the Pittsburgh Foundation provides that in the unlikely event of future state legislation that would require UPMC to pay taxes to the City of Pittsburgh and/or the School District, UPMC has the option of taking a dollar for dollar reduction to its payment to the Promise. We believe that it is more important to move forward with the program than to worry about a hypothetical situation, which is highly unlikely to arise,” he added. [Emphasis added]
Thanks, Mr. Mayo!

So in other words, everything that was said by Charlie Robert Cindrich, chief legal counsel to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, in the contentious City Council meeting still stands: it's a gift with many strings. And, as either Shields or Peduto noted in that meeting, there was never a need for an actual written side agreement by the city, UPMC could always simply say that they would opt out if they wanted for whatever reason.

Of course doing it that way puts the onus on them instead of making it a law that they are merely following. Thus, Lil Mayor Luke Ravenstahl F'd up once again by making a big issue out of it by trying to ram it down Council's throats.

At least this time Lukey's latest cockup hurt his corporate masters instead of the public at large. Perhaps UPMC will think twice about their next celebrity golf gift for Lukey . . . Nah!


Anonymous said...

John K. says: Nope you did not miss it. UPMC also pledged to not make contributions if they do not turn a profit. Gotta love this stuff. UPMC has created another entitlement class of people.

Mark Rauterkus said...

I'd love to quote Patton as an answer.

"We'll burn that bridge when we get to it."

Jeepers -- the future is unknown. UPMC sells 'health insurance' and that is a good bet as we are all going to die. But institutions and laws are not like people. You can't take out insurance on matters of the greater society.

Community Stewards need to deal with the future when the future arrives, and as it arrives. And, the real leaders aim to make history, not be slaves of it.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

somebody(s)on Council sure worked this out to the best possible end. now what do we blog about? Zober's general ineptitude?

Char said...

The UMPC gift is now officially the gift they will probably never have to give. (At least the full amount) Its also the gift that will absolutely do squat for attracting new families to the city. (Its intended purpose)

1st, $90 of the $100 million is "matching funds", conditioned upon someone else giving that much. Lets hold our breath.

2nd, I think I remember reading somewhere that they only pay it when it is needed. At $5000 per year, we'd need 2000 graduating seniors who've met the GPA and attendance requirements, and who still need that $5000 after first tapping into all other grant sources.

3rd, we don't have to worry about an onslaught of suburban families rushing here to get the money because they're never going to move here for a Promise that can be taken back. The suburban family would have to be here for 13 years to receive the full amount. 13 years of paying higher wage (and probably property) taxes. 13 years of enduring the excellent city services of Pgh. All hoping at the end of that time UMPC is still giving the gift and that others have matched it.

We can count on one hand the number of suburbanite families who will move here for that kind of a deal.

Fillippelli the Cook said...

Maria or Daveyo, you might want to pull anon's 8:42 post, as it appears to be a copy and paste of the entire PG article and, thus, I believe, copyright infringement.

Fillippelli the Cook said...

Don't know about the wage taxes, but the property tax in Allegheny County is exhorbitant, well beyond what we paid on our house in the suburbs just outside of D.C.

Richmond K. Turner said...

From what I can tell, UPMC will still get their 1-for-1 tax credit from the school district. They may have given up on getting the city tax credit, but I'm betting that they will keep the school district one.

Maria said...

Read their statement. They will give themselves their own rebate whenever it suits them.

Anonymous said...

what would please the critics of UPMC's "promise" to fund the "Promise"? Whether or not it attracts suburbanites is a moot point. It is a progressive step, and one that should be supported and made better, not belittled and dismissed. You political bloggers sure are a funny lot.

Schmuck Shitrock said...

It is a progressive step, and one that should be supported and made better, not belittled and dismissed. You political bloggers sure are a funny lot.
Well said, Mr. Romoff

Char said...

No, no. "Whether or not it attracts suburbanits" is not a moot point. It is THE point. Because as set up now, it is not self-sustaining. As set up now, it will run out of money someday (probably soon).

This program NEEDS an influx of new people just to pay for itself. Then it needs an influx of more new people than that in order to revitalize our dying city.

And while the Kalamazoo Promise and the handful of other Promises across the country were created for charitable reasons of providing education to anyone who wants it ...... ECONOMIC REVITALIZATION was the primary reason these projects were birthed.

Anonymous said...

John K. says: Now why is it not suprising that shitrock enthusiastically supports this plan. Of course, it creates a whole class of people dependent on a Govt subsidy. Yah gotta love those lefties.

Schmuck Shitrock said...

Johnny! It's so nice having you back! For a little while you were acting as though you were going to make an abortive attempt to make sense, and I was afraid we would lose our primary source of amusement. But here you are again, completely deaf to irony and absolutely sans un indice.

Did you think that Mr. Romoff was a relative of Major Andre?