The good press garnered by the G-20 Summit in Pittsburgh -- especially the "Eds and Meds" meme -- is being countered with this headline in today's USA Today:
The article notes that the Pittsburgh Council on Higher Education plans to challenge Lil Mayor Luke's 1% college tuition "privilege" tax in court.
Moreover, our Overlords will likely reject Ravenstahl's budget partially based on the probable unenforceability of this tax (seems that they've been getting some letters about this issue).
And, what does City Council think about the proposed tax? Here's one vote it won't get (from an email from City Councilor Bill Peduto):
Thank you for taking the time to email me regarding the proposed student tax. I apologize for not being able to personally reply to each message due to the overwhelming number of emails we have received. First and foremost, I am opposed to this tax. In Pennsylvania, no municipality can create new taxes without state authorization, therefore, I believe this proposal is illegal. Additionally, attempting to solve our budget problems by continuing to raise taxes will never work. We need structural changes or else we will continue to run a deficit.
This tax misses the mark. We should not be putting the burden of historic budget problems on the backs of students. There is something fundamentally wrong with a city that taxes students and closes libraries. That is a true sign of a city that sells the future to fund the present. This is simply a really bad idea. For all of these reasons, I am opposed and will vote no.
I don’t know if you realize this, but I am also a student. I am in school working on my Masters, so this proposed tax targets me as well.
I am asking you to make sure your voice is heard by the Mayor, who is pushing hard for the votes on City Council. Please take one minute and contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org