Our fair share

Council members in Pittsburgh voted Wednesday to postpone
the vote on the “Fair Share Tax” -Mayor Luke Ravenstahl’s proposed tax on
tuition. The tax would be 1% of tuition for students attending universities in
Pittsburgh, and has the potential to raise as much as $16 million for the city
annually.

An article for the Center Daily Times quoted State College
Mayor Elect Elizabeth Goreham saying “If this tax is found to be legal in
Pittsburgh, State College would definitely be in it here.”

Admittedly, a $300 increase in tuition isn’t going to matter
much for many students, but there remains a large portion of students who are
paying their own way through college. For them, $300 could mean one month’s
rent.

Furthermore, although out of state (or just out of county)
students at Penn State don’t pay taxes locally, they do already contribute well
over $30,000 annually to the local economy; some might say well more than our
“fair share”.

Additionally, how will the tax account for students in
Pittsburgh whose parents live in Pittsburgh; is it ethical to tax them twice?

Ultimately, my own concern with the tax is my objection to
the principle that is currently driving Ravenstahl’s proposal; the claim that
college students aren’t pulling their own weight in the local economy.

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