Pittsburgh Looks to Tax College Students

City hopes 1% tax on tuition will help replenish pension fund
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 1, 2009 3:00 PM CST
Prospective student Sean Tontz, left, his mother Nicole Tontz, center and Laurie Kretz of Pittsburgh, inspect a dorm room during a tour of Juniata College, Thursday, April 9, 2009, Huntingdon, Pa.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
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(Newser) – Cash-strapped Pittsburgh has come up with a new tax targeting an unusual group: college students. The city is proposing a 1% tax on university and college tuition to cover a shortfall in its $600 million pension fund for city workers. Students at pricey universities like Carnegie Mellon would pay $400 annually. The city council is due to vote this week on the measure, which would bring in about $16 million annually.

"This is going to be a double taxation of students in the city," said one grad student who pays property taxes on a house he owns. But city officials argue that the majority of students don't own property and should chip in for the police, fire, and sanitation services they receive, reports the Wall Street Journal.

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