Plans for a Higher Ed Tax in Pittsburgh

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl plans to propose a 1 percent college-education privilege tax to council today, in a move that’s likely to set off a fight with the city’s schools of higher learning.

College and university representatives met with the mayor on Wednesday and argued against the tax, which would be assessed on a college student’s tuition. It technically would not be a levy on the students or their schools, but rather on the privilege of getting a higher education in Pittsburgh.

“They weren’t pleased to hear that this was an option we were pursuing,” Mr. Ravenstahl said. But he said he is ready for “a fight, or a battle, if you will,” if that’s what it takes to plug a $15 million gap in his 2010 budget and help the struggling Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

This is obviously a very tough situation for Pittsburgh, but I would have to imagine there are better ways to handle it than to make higher ed even more expensive.

Jesse Singal

Jesse Singal is a former opinion writer for The Boston Globe and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. He is currently a master's student at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Policy. Follow him on Twitter at @jessesingal.