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Education The Almighty Buck Government

Pittsburgh To Tax Students 344

Posted by Soulskill
from the this-will-go-over-well dept.
societyofrobots writes "Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl has proposed taxing college and professional students for the privilege of receiving an education in the city. The proposed tax will charge students in the city at a rate of 1% of their yearly tuition — which, at Carnegie Mellon, would mean roughly a $400 tax (PDF) on most students. As the tax proposal hit local media outlets this week, the mayor repeatedly emphasized the burden that college students have placed on city services, and the need for students to pay their 'fair share.'"
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Pittsburgh To Tax Students

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  • dumb idea (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lpaul55 (137990) * on Saturday November 21, 2009 @09:15AM (#30183942) Homepage Journal

    That's a way to dumb down the city.

    • by Tsar (536185) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @09:18AM (#30183966) Homepage Journal

      That's a way to dumb down the city.

      Too late!

    • It's Pittsburgh (Score:4, Interesting)

      by tomhudson (43916) <barbara.hudson@nOSpaM.barbara-hudson.com> on Saturday November 21, 2009 @12:04PM (#30185502) Journal

      That's a way to dumb down the city.

      In other news, the mayor left for the weekend, and the average IQ of the city increased.

      You know how it is - every vilage has its' idiot, and Pittsburgh wants to be able to say "We're #1" about something.

      New slogan: Pittsburgh - it really IS the pits!

      Or maybe they heard that the economy is changing, with more part-time, menial, mindless jobs, and they want to make sure their future workforce isn't over-qualified.

      Or they want to make sure the supply of dumb voters increases.

      Or they heard about "higher" education, and "don't want none of that people getting high on shit on school grounds - if they got money for weed, tax 'em".

      Or the real explanation - they're broke, and figure that they can't tax the people who live there, because that means getting tossed out at the next election - so why not tax students who don't live there, can't vote, and are locked into a 4-year program?

  • by DeadPixels (1391907) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @09:17AM (#30183952)
    While it's true that the students don't pay regular taxes like other residents, what about the fact that they bring a huge amount of disposable income and spend it in the city? The money goes to the local businesses, who in turn pay taxes on their revenue. Seems fair enough to me.
    • by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @09:21AM (#30183982)

      What do you mean students don't pay taxes like other residents? Do they get exemptions from sales and gas taxes? Do their landlords not pay property taxes that get included in the rents they pay? If they take jobs in the city don't they pay state income taxes that get partially recycled to the city?

      • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 21, 2009 @10:21AM (#30184400)

        I'm not defending higher taxes, but I want to give some context, Pittsburgh has a high percentage of it's economy that comes from non-profit entities such as universities and hospitals from which they don't collect the same amount of taxes as they would from a for profit company. This has always been a problem for Pittsburgh, even when the economy wasn't bad. And while the students do pay some local taxes (sales taxes, etc) other people who work in Pittsburgh pay those taxes, plus they also pay income taxes. So, in general, students pay less taxes per person compared to other employed people. A fairness argument is tough to gauge though. Is it fair to tax to students on tuition (money that students need to PAY compared to income that they EARN)? Is it fair to charge more to CMU students compared to Pitt students just because they pay more tuition? Are they going to take into account the level of student aid you get? Do students use up the same level of city services as other people who work in the city? They don't tend to drive much. Campuses have their own police forces. This is something that has been coming for some time. I was once audited by the City of Pittsburgh while at CMU because I received a health insurance benefit from a previous employer and they made me prove that I could legitimately file taxes as a resident of another state. They were pretty reasonable about it and didn't end up charging me anything, but I've heard a lot a similar stories. I think another part of it is that many students (particularly at CMU) are from somewhere else and the city sees them as an opportunity to tax "outsiders".

        • by Smallpond (221300)

          A 1% tax on tuition is lower than the 6% state sales tax on other goods and services in PA.

          I was audited by both Pittsburgh and the IRS while a grad student at CMU because my stipend came from a corporation who were funding my research.

        • by onepoint (301486)

          I hear what your saying, but the fault does not sit with the schools or non-profit's. the fault lies with the community leaders ( mayors, council members .... ). They have not fought hard enough to attract businesses that will want to stay in these communities.

          I would rather have 100 employee business, that pays a middle of the road tax, than to have a business that has 50 people at full rate ( 100 employees inject more money as a group into the local community than 50 ).

          it's time that communities like busi

    • I'm not meaning my comment as a troll but the point you made is one many Democratic politicians do not seem to understand. I'm sure there are many Republicans who do not understand this either. Politicians just often have a very limited view of tax revenue.
    • by smchris (464899)

      But is it dependable? Town I grew up in had first choice a hundred years ago of a community college or a soldiers retirement home. They took the retirement home. The community college has since closed in that town but there are always more soldiers and they need liquor as much as students.

    • by onepoint (301486)

      You hit the point dead center.

      in real estate dynamics, you have an attraction ( also known as an anchor property in commercial ). Good schools are the attraction, people come to spend money near those good schools, Real estate investors know that a business that keeps that attraction going or improves upon it bring more revenue to the area.

      communities know this also, and therefore tax accordingly the real estate values of commercial properties, residential properties that are 5 minutes walking to good schoo

  • Wrong! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by amiga3D (567632) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @09:20AM (#30183976)
    Students bring tons of money into an area. This fool is going to drive the students to another city. Heh....I wonder if he talked it over with the Universities before he did it?
    • Re:Wrong! (Score:4, Interesting)

      by commodore64_love (1445365) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @09:25AM (#30184008) Journal

      After thinking about it, I bet the Mayor doesn't care about the truth. He simply wants more money, and if he can sell the average, not-so-bright Pittsburgh voter on the idea that students are "getting a free ride", then he can start vacuuming wallets and making himself... er, his budget wealthier.

    • I'm not sure how that compares to the money other people bring, and to the costs.

    • Re:Wrong! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by CastrTroy (595695) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @10:05AM (#30184292) Homepage
      Also, many students who go to school in a city, are more likely to stay in that city to work. If you don't have any college graduates living in your city, your city will quickly devolve into an uneducated mess. I learned that playing SimCity. Surely they can figure this one out.
      • Re:Wrong! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by THotze (5028) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @02:31PM (#30186940) Homepage

        It's funny that you mention this in the context of Pittsburgh -- Richard Florida wrote a book called 'The Rise of the Creative Class' about that theory -- that having college students gives way to an educated population and a class of creative professionals, from high tech to high finance, that builds prosperity. But Florida's research started when he noticed that he was surrounded by smart, capable young students at CMU, none of whom would be there a year or two after their graduation. His book (with methodology that's easy to critique) tries to show that it's more than just colleges that you need to retain college graduates. You can dispute Florida's findings -- that you need things like bike paths to keep college grads, but his inspiration, that college students leave Pittsburgh, is generally pretty true.

        Finding out how to keep college students would go a long way towards solving Pittsburgh's problems -- and kicking them in the pants when they're poor students probably isn't a good way to do that. As a side note: poor college students can frequently get almost fully funded between grants and loans -- including a fair living stipend. If they can't get such financing for the $400 tax, then that's a real burden for the already less-advantaged college studnets trying to make a future for themselves.

    • by JimXugle (921609)

      One of the Tax-ees here:

      I'd say that he didn't talk it over with the Universities.

  • by PingSpike (947548) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @09:20AM (#30183978)

    ...wouldn't just raising the booze tax accomplish the same thing?

    • by Sheepeep (994464)
      Yeah, but he has to sell the idea. I'd wager that a lot more people drink booze than go to colleges and universities...
      • by The Ultimate Fartkno (756456) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @09:46AM (#30184176)

        Easy. Just pander to the people who a) don't drink, or b) pretend that they don't. "Sin taxes" are becoming increasingly popular among the holier-than-thou voting crowd who look at it as a way to get everyone else to pay a tax increase while they get off free because "it's bad for you! You deserve it!"

        "First they came for the smokers, and I said nothing because I was not a smoker. Then they came for the McNuggets and suddenly I cared because ZOMG MY FREEDOM!"

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by kamikasee (607348)
      Actually, they did that too.... http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/cityregion/s_516110.html [pittsburghlive.com]
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by TheRaven64 (641858)

      Deregulating alcohol sales a bit would help with that. It's been a few years since I was in Pittsburgh, but last time I was there you could only buy beer and wine (in bottles, rather than to drink immediately) in a few places, most of which weren't open in the evenings or at weekends. As a brit, it was weird finding supermarkets with no alcohol section (although there is an absolutely incredible cheese shop that makes me forgive any other retail oddities in the city). If you want to pick up a bottle to t

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by antibryce (124264)

      I'm not sure if you're aware and making a joke about it, but Pittsburgh recently got an alcoholic drink tax. 10% on every poured drink.

      The city is going to have to continue raising taxes everywhere it can, because we've had decades of really bad management.

  • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @09:20AM (#30183980) Journal

    They already do shithead Mayor. Students pay:

    - property tax (included in the school's tuition and the dorm room rental fees)
    - sales tax (by buying local products)
    - gas tax or road tolls (when they drive around)

    This story reminds me of Baltimore City Council, which keeps trying to tax neighboring counties on the theory that suburban folks work in the city, or visit the Raven stadium, but don't pay taxes. (Except that they do - via state income tax and sales tax and providing income to stadium/restaurant/other inner city workers.) Same stupid first-order level of thinking. These politicians need to dig deeper.

    • by nycguy (892403) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @09:35AM (#30184084)

      These politicians need to dig deeper.

      They are...into your pockets.

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by kjart (941720)
      If you're willing to spend $40,000/year to go to college already, I'm sorry but $400 isn't going to kill you. It's 1% - get over it.
      • >>>$40,000/year

        ???. Tuition plus room/board is closer to $10,000 for a public school. What kind of college did YOU go to? Anyway it's more like a 4% tax. Plus interest because most students have to borrow the money from a bank.

    • Logically, here is what the "fair share" should be.

      (Cost of Government) / (Number of Citizens) = the fair tax per citizen.

      Anything else is unfair, but "necessary*" simply because not everyone can afford their fair share.

      The tax code boils down to extracting unfair amounts of money from those that can pay (and the politics of helping friends and punishing enemies).

      Since politicians don't pay for anything out of their own pocket, there is no reason to curtail spending.

      * necessary - of course if
  • by nanospook (521118) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @09:29AM (#30184022)
    We are going to tax you because.. "blah blah blah blah". No one believes them because they will then turn around and "waste" money the next time. We fought the British off and then turned around and just did it to ourselves. If they are short of money, maybe they should get some higher education "smart" people from MIT to look at "innovative" ways to cut costs or do things "smarter" and "cheaper". Any corporation worth its salt has this approach and sells it to their employees as well as a corporate standard. Better faster cheaper. Instead we have the politicians (who are not living in a dingy one bedroom trying to get an education, maybe raising a kid or working 3 jobs) who keep the status quo the same year after year and show no innovation toward bettering the lives of the people. They stifle innovation and change just by their very existence.. Another example of government? The blinking yellow lights where you have to drop to 20 miles and hour during school hours. I drive a 30 minute commute and on that road, there are 3-4 areas like this. The problem though.. no kids! In the 3 years I've taken this route, I've yet to see any kids crossing the road at these locations. Yet every day, huge numbers of cars have to slow down, causing traffic congestion, wasting time, because some politician said "protect the kids, blah blah blah, do it for the kids". I'm not impressed.. we always go for bigger organizations instead of smaller ones that can do a better job in a localized area..
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      >>>We are going to tax you because.. "blah blah blah blah". No one believes them because they will then turn around and "waste" money the next time.

      +1. Here is your typical Pittsburgh (or Philadelphia) politician in action: Timestamp 1:00 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yS4rRl5B7NI [youtube.com]

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by zotz (3951)

      Is it time to go back to that "no taxation without representation" idea and a big way? I mean as in really... *no taxation without representation* - if they do not let you vote, they can't tax you.

      And forget all the justifications what will be raised as to why you *just have to tax* those who can't vote.

      all the best,

      drew

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by DerekLyons (302214)

      We are going to tax you because.. "blah blah blah blah". No one believes them because they will then turn around and "waste" money the next time. We fought the British off and then turned around and just did it to ourselves.

      We fought the British off (partly) over the issue of taxation without representation, but that isn't the problem here - as we have elected the people who are currently taxing us. (And in most cases continue to re-elect them.)

      If they are short of money, maybe they should get some

  • by jointm1k (591234)

    privilege of receiving an education in the city

    As opposed to the countryside students who have to pay for the right to study?

  • by Registered Coward v2 (447531) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @09:30AM (#30184040)

    1. Get $2 bills and dollar coins and use them for all their purchases for two weeks.

    2. Then spend a week or two not spending a dime - ideally until they've saved the $400 tax.

    3. Publicize it. Write articles in the student paper and letters to the editor.

    4. Sit back and watch the results. Lather, rinse and repeat.

    5. Profit?

    Seriously, students need to show their economic impact on the local community. Using money not normally used will help make that point.

    • by JimXugle (921609)

      A More effective route would be to get a couple hundred students to picket the City-County building in downtown.

    • by magsol (1406749) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @02:35PM (#30186976) Journal
      There was a similar attempt made in Pittsburgh several years ago. The student governments from all the universities in the area - UPitt, CMU, Chatham, and so on - all got together and set up a demonstration strategy that involved 1) spreading the word about the student tax by posting representatives at locations in the city frequented by students, and 2) encouraging students not to go to bars, liquor stores, or clubs.

      Within 10 days, at the prodding of local bars, clubs, and package stores that had lots the vast majority of their clientele, the Pittsburgh council dropped the student tax proposal.

      If we can pull off a similar economic demonstration, like the parent alludes to, then I suspect we'll have trouble telling this Mayor what a moron he is.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    It makes no sense to me why when budgets need to be slashed it's always the students who get it first. In California, students just had their tuitions hiked 32% [cnn.com] per semester.

    It's insane and incredibly backward-looking. CA has a $20+ billion budget shortfall, and an insane political process that requires a supermajority vote to pass a tax increase-- or any budget at all.

    As a result, anyone can block anything that even hints at revenue collection, and it's a total clusterfuck.

    And students are the first in l

    • I will. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by NoYob (1630681) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @10:21AM (#30184410)

      (don't tell me how cutting taxes stimulates the economy and raises money and the laffer curve and supply side and fleeing jobs and all that... CA's economy has been "stimulated" in this manner for a generation, and it's still fucked.)

      The problems that California have is the result of spending more that it earns. It's as simple as that. The economy was booming and tax revenues went through the roof because of it. Their tax policy, as far as income was concerned, wasn't too bad. Unfortunately, on April 15th in past years, the California legislature sees that huge pile of cash come in and they spent it thinking that California's boom will last forever. The Legislature, especially the liberal Democrats, have no clue about saving for the future or any clue that times do change and there are downturns in an economy.

      Every time someone had some sort of project and regardless of its merits, they put money into it. Look now, when they want to cut spending, regardless of where, some special interest protests saying that they are important and the legislature needs to cut somewhere else.

      If they had a responsible fiscal plan instead of spending every penny that came in they wouldn't be in this situation.

      Laffer said that reducing taxes stimulates the economy as long as government reduces spending to match inflows. The California legislature was too stupid to realize that and they were too beholden to the special interests that always have their hands out for government money.

  • wow (Score:4, Insightful)

    by WindBourne (631190) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @09:40AM (#30184124) Journal
    Something is really wrong when you tax a student while just having given massive tax cuts to the very rich in the last 7 years.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Pittsburgh gave massive tax cuts to the "very rich" recently?

  • Priorities (Score:5, Insightful)

    by six11 (579) <johnsogg@@@cmu...edu> on Saturday November 21, 2009 @09:41AM (#30184142) Homepage

    As a CMU student (sort of), this doesn't surprise me, and I invite Luke Ravenstahl to kiss my poor ass. Considering this guy prioritizes money in the most bogo-riffic ways (e.g. spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on fancy trash cans sporting his name [kdka.com]) it seems clear he is not and has not been fit to run the city.

    Pittsburgh's new economy is fueled by the universities*. Everybody knows this. Taxing the students---those people least able to pay---is akin to cannibalism.

    Of course, what will happen is students will just borrow a bit more and stack on a little more debt. So maybe Luke's idea is to get students to hedge their futures on his present financial problems.

    * And the Steelers

  • by knapper_tech (813569) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @09:43AM (#30184158)
    Lifeblood sucking students who contribute nothing to society and ruthlessly download music and movies must pay their toll just like all the rest of us hard working people with income. We all had spare change during school to throw at the municipal government. Why can't they?

    And while we're at it, we need to tax other non-contributing members of society who place a burden on social services. I'm all for a tax on K-12 students, a tax on pre-schoolers, a tax on the disabled, senior citizens tax, and a tax on people who have crimes committed against them.

    After all, with all the student financing available, they'll just pay it with loans right? So it's like we're actually taxing their future income!
  • by KevinIsOwn (618900) <herrkevin AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday November 21, 2009 @09:47AM (#30184180) Homepage
    The Mayor of Providence has proposed a similar tax [projo.com] in providence, although it would "only" be $150/student as opposed to $400. The arguments being made in both cities seem to be exactly the same: Students need to pay their "fair share". I'm kind of curious how we don't already pay our fair share, though, given that anyone who lives off campus pays property taxes and we bring millions into the local economy. (And in Providence, we're all the local economy has left)

    Now I'm not one to go shouting about the Government and taxes, but student taxes are very clearly a form of regressive taxation. It just doesn't make sense to be trying to take money from a group of people who don't have all that much of it in the first place. But that seems to be the trend of taxation lately, more and more regressive so rich people can keep all of their "hard earned" money.
    • by cptdondo (59460)

      Not only that, but the vast bulk of tuition is from out of the local area == free money to the local economy.

      Students get money from gov't loans and grants, mom & pop, and almost none of it from the local area. Even most opn-campus student jobs are funded by outside grants. So at a guess each student brings in something like $30K a year into the local economy - that costs the city almost $0 to generate. 3.7 students (the size of the average family) bring in $117,000 - that's a pretty high income brac

  • Churches (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Stiletto (12066) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @09:50AM (#30184192)

    Yet, we're still not taxing churches...

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Grygus (1143095)
      Well historically pissed-off students get shot and run over by tanks. Pissed-off religious groups gruesomely kill their enemies in operations ranging from single-man strikes to multinational wars. Which group do you want to take on?
  • by onionman (975962) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @09:50AM (#30184198)

    In our university town there are already taxes in place which are aimed at students without directly naming them as the objects of the laws. Restaurant taxes, Alcohol taxes, Property taxes on rental units, Parking law enforcement strategically biased to certain areas, etc. The Mayor in question really isn't too bright if he's being so direct.

  • by RazorSharp (1418697) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @09:50AM (#30184200)

    terrible towels? A 5-10% excise tax on terrible towels would probably bring in millions.

  • All college students should leave Pittsburgh! Then the mayor can observe the consequences and decide whether college students have been paying their fair share all along. Sales taxes, jobs created, and willingness of companies to be located in Pittsburgh all relate to colleges being present. The real truth is that Pittsburgh ought to pay students for being willing to put up with that dump of a city.

  • by SleepyHappyDoc (813919) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @09:53AM (#30184218)

    Why not a politician tax, somewhere around 1% of their annual income, for the privilege of being a politician?

    If it's good for the goose, it's good for the gander.

    • by sugapablo (600023)
      I'd be all for it, but basically it would just be a 1% reduction in their pay and save a municipality virtually nothing.
  • Hey, at least they're calling it a tax. In California they call it "raising fees." Either way, it seems like politicians are never willing to tax the rich, but are happy to jack up taxes on the young.

  • and frankly, I don't see much reason for the city to exist currently (in an economic sense) except for the presence of its universities. Generally, in that situation, the approach to take is to offer every incentive you can to get businesses and industries INTO the city. And one thing those businesses will need, especially in a modern economy, is well educated students. Pittsburgh seems to have suffered something of a "brain drain" effect in that (naturally enough) folks who would be the foundation and b

  • The whole story... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sugapablo (600023) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @10:04AM (#30184290) Homepage
    The problem is, in Pittsburgh the two major enterprises/employers are colleges and hospital systems. Both non-profit and both tax exempt. They own a tremendous amount of land (tax-free) employ the most people (tax free) and use up a tremendous amount of city services (such as police, ambulance, fire, water, sewage, etc, all tax free). The city has been trying for years to get the universities and hospitals to pay something, ANYTHING to help the city with its budget situation. In other cities where non-profits make up a large percentage of the area, the non-profits usually contribute something in terms of "voluntary payments", such as in Boston. What the mayor is doing, is trying to pressure the universities to come to the negotiating table to help support the city in its time of financial need, using other major cities with major university systems as a model. So far, the universities and hospital systems have refused. (Keep in mind, our major hospital system is UPMC (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center). Luke cares little for this tax and doesn't want it to pass. He want to use it to cause a big firestorm (which obviously it has) and force concessions. We'll see if it works. PA State Reps are already proposing laws to prevent the City of Pittsburgh from being able to tax students directly.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by DeadCatX2 (950953)

      I live in Pittsburgh and I'll attest to the fact that downtown Oakland is pretty much CMU, Pitt, and UPMC, and a few establishments that cater to students. There really isn't a whole lot more besides that down there...bunch of bars on the other side of the river in South Side, though.

      I'm actually quite surprised that the universities are so completely tax free. Certainly, though, off-campus students are paying property taxes and stuff, yeah?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Weezul (52464)

      Fine, but I'd still hope the non-profits play hardball and the city loses money in the long run. Pittsburgh's institutions are not nearly so well endowed as Boston's. If they pass the law, institutions like MIT & Harvard will take an interest in the court case. I'd expect that eventually the courts will decide that taxing the users of the services of non-profits is unconstitutional.

      Anyway, Pittsburgh has no reason for existing without those non-profit institutions. I assume the city has just failed t

  • What about older people that are trying to get degrees? Why should a long term resident be charged a tax for going to a private school. I'm not saying that I agree with the tax for the migratory college population, just that nobody has mentioned this subset of the 'revenue stream' yet.
  • ... Would the city be better off financially if there were no students?

  • by googlesmith123 (1546733) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @10:17AM (#30184372)
    In a time such as ours. Where so many people are loosing their jobs. And most of the people who lose their jobs have no education. Why then would your want to tax people trying to get an education when you know how much more tax a person with an education is going to pay than a person without an eduction.

    In Norway for instance education is free. Yes FREE. We have excellent universities. For instance, Oslo University ranks at 101 at topuniversities.com. Not only though is it free to study, but the government pays you around 15000 NOK for every semester you complete (for full time students) (2 semesters a year). And not only that, but they give your a further 30000 NOK in loans (per semester) that are interest free until 1 year after you complete your studies.

    The way the US treats it's people still puzzles me. Surely putting a strain on people who already have little money to live for just sounds like greed to me.
  • Short Sighted (Score:3, Insightful)

    by KalvinB (205500) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @10:59AM (#30184812) Homepage

    When Arizona State called asking for money I told them to tell Michael Crow I hope he's happy with his tuition hikes because he's never getting another dime from me. The way I see it, he already stole about $6000 dollars from me (they violated the state constitution to make those increases). I'm not going to voluntarily give more and my daughter will most likely not attend ASU. We're putting away money so she can go anywhere.

    Students get a higher eduction, get better jobs, make more money, and pay more taxes which gets put back into the schools.

    If we want to focus on "fair" then homeowners with children who don't go to public school need to be except from public school related taxes.

    If the government wants their money "now" they better be prepared to lose money later.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by AK Marc (707885)
      If we want to focus on "fair" then homeowners with children who don't go to public school need to be except from public school related taxes.

      Great, I'll keep my kids out of school and pocket the money, then, when they hit 18, I'll kick them out and they'll end up in the prison system or something and then they'll be your problem for a whole lot more than if you'd just educated them.
  • Seed corn (Score:3, Insightful)

    by QuoteMstr (55051) <dan.colascione@gmail.com> on Saturday November 21, 2009 @12:51PM (#30185974)

    "Eating the seed corn" is a folksy expression that means staving off hunger now by eating the seeds you need for next year's planting. I know it's a tired metaphor, but nothing in the English language comes close to describing how tragic it is when governments squeeze students. Education is what will bring us prosperity in the future. It should be the last think to be cut, after the military, police, fire department, road maintenance, research grants, foreign aide and pensions. When we cut education, we forgo a possibility of hardship today for the guarantee of irrelevance is decay tomorrow.

    Educate your population, and you'd be amazed at how many other problems you solve along the way.

  • Russian Roulette (Score:3, Insightful)

    by athlon02 (201713) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @01:37PM (#30186392)

    Anyone else starting to get the impression that politicians across the country (especially federal ones) LIKE playing Russian Roulette with their careers lately?

    I say vote them out... if you don't represent ME and MY FELLOW constituents, then you have no business holding your office. To such politicians I say, "Consider yourself fired."

    </venting>

  • by Degro (989442) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @01:57PM (#30186602)
    This country is sounding more and more like every period history class. The rich increasingly refuse to pay any taxes. In response, the government, powerless against said rich people, turn on the poor even more.
  • by flajann (658201) <flajann&linuxbloke,com> on Saturday November 21, 2009 @06:22PM (#30189044) Homepage Journal
    I don't get it with Pittsburgh. First, they tear-gas and pepper-spray their students (http://pittsburghpolice.net/category/dorms/), and now they want to tax them to death.

    The "fair share" argument is a wash. Those students have been attending CMU and Pittsburgh University for decades, and only now they thought of taxing them?

    Plus, Pittsburgh has not learned the stern lessons of history. Raising taxes during an economic downturn is always a bad thing to do.

    I suppose Pittsburgh overran its budget with the "goon squad" it hired to mistreat the students during G20, and now it needs to find a way to pay for it. Gas'em, Mace'em, Tax'em. The Pittsburgh Way.

    Besides, if the students are buying goods and services in the city, they are already paying their "fair share" in taxes. This is just plain stupid.

What is mind? No matter. What is matter? Never mind. -- Thomas Hewitt Key, 1799-1875

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