Pittsburgh City Council set to vote on tuition tax

AP News
Posted: Dec 15, 2009 10:43 PM

The Pittsburgh City Council is set to take a preliminary vote on a proposed first-of-its kind tax on student tuition.

Mayor Luke Ravenstahl says the measure could generate $16.2 million in annual revenue to help pay for pensions of retired city employees. He's urging the council to vote for the 1 percent tuition tax at its meeting Wednesday.

A final vote is expected next week.

On Friday, universities rejected Ravenstahl's offer that they contribute $5 million annually to the city for the next five years instead of the tuition tax.

The universities say the tax isn't fair to students and would be challenged in court.

Ravenstahl says the city needs to increase contributions from large, nonprofit, tax-exempt institutions such as universities. He says the tax would amount to about $130 per student annually.