Pittsburgh may study value of services to tax-exempt facilities
Share with others:
Pittsburgh City Council today gave its initial approval to legislation to study the value of property held by tax-exempt institutions, estimate the cost of protecting and serving college and university students and then enter into negotiations for voluntary payments in lieu of taxes.
Councilman Ricky Burgess portrayed the legislation as an alternative to the already-bruising battle between the city and its institutions of higher learning over Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's proposed 1 percent tuition tax. State overseers yesterday rejected a budget that included revenue from the tax, but Mr. Ravenstahl is pushing for implementation anyway.
"A series of armies now are beginning to go into battle," Mr. Burgess said. "Let's pull out our swords and hack each other and see who's the last man, or last woman, standing.
"I think going into war is something you do as a last resort."
It's his hope that if the city gets a clear understanding of the value of land held by tax-exempt institutions, and the cost of services provided to their clients, it might form the basis for some formula that would guide long-term contributions. He noted that Boston gets $8.4 million this year from 13 schools, plus $4.9 million from nine medical institutions.
A final vote could occur Monday.
First Published November 18, 2009 2:19 pm