Pittsburgh eyeing tuition tax for students

Nov. 16, 2009 at 12:25 PM   |   Comments

PITTSBURGH, Nov. 16 (UPI) -- Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said he wants to impose a 1 percent tax on tuition paid by students at the city's seven colleges and universities.

USA Today said Monday that Ravenstahl is adding the tax plan to his 2010 budget and the proposed tuition tax has already drawn opposition from at least one local education official.

"He calls it a fair share tax. We call it an unfair tax," Carlow College President Mary Hines said, referring to the mayor and his tax plan.

Hines, who is also head of the Pittsburgh Council on Higher Education, said the tuition tax could also impact Pittsburgh's appeal to potential students in the future.

"We want them to realize they are coming to an exciting city that will welcome them with open arms. This does not do that," she said.

The student cost of the tax plan, which comes as Pittsburgh is facing a $15 million budget gap, could range from $20 for Carlow College students at Carlow College to $400 for students at the pricier Carnegie Mellon University.

"It's a new and untapped potential source of revenue," Terry Hartle of the American Council on Education told USA Today of the tax plan.

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