Sunday, November 22, 2009

Nerd News and Fresh Hell on Campus: Pittsburgh Mayor Wants to Tax College Tuition

WHAT FRESH NERD HELL IS THIS? Blurb from Inside Higher Ed:
Pittsburgh mayor Luke Ravenstahl, just seven years out of college, is igniting ire with his plan to levy a 1 percent tax on tuition collected by the city’s 10 nonprofit colleges and universities.

Introduced as part of Ravenstahl’s 2010 budget less than a week after he won reelection on Nov. 3, the so-called “Fair Share Tax” would raise $16.2 million in annual revenue for the city, his estimates claim. “We value Pittsburgh’s nonprofit community,” he said as he announced the tax. “They are our major employers, and a big part of why our economy continues to be strong. However, we can no longer afford to provide city services to those who are not paying their fair share.”

Students would have to pay between $27 and $409 annually, depending on tuition, to their colleges and universities, which would then remit the money to the city. Students at the Community College of Allegheny County would pay the least and students at Carnegie Mellon University would pay the most.

Are you kidding me? This reminds me of a Rhode Island desire to tax students for being students.

I give you my archived satire: "Government introduces new tax on taxes."

Note also the almost Orwellian semantics of this scheme. A "Fair Share Tax." Listen up, people. Whenever some government bigshot uses the word "fair," you better hang onto your wallets. Ultimately under crushing government meddling, the only way to achieve "fairness" is for everyone to be equally poor and miserable. I am also curious how you're supposed to explain that the tuition tax is "fair" if, as the story itself admits, students at some schools would PAY MORE TUITION TAX than students at other schools. How is this not another form of the same tired old "eat the rich"/"progressive tax" idea?

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