I understand the mayor's need to come up with a plan to add money to the city's budget. I even understand his political reasons for taxing the city's students instead of looking to the nonprofits, businesses and other entities that receive a pass on paying their "fair share."
My problem with the plan is how it is characterized as a "fair share" tax. Even disregarding the fact that many students already pay wage and property taxes, students in Pittsburgh provide service as unpaid interns. They perform an overwhelming majority of the community service that saves the city money. They produce theater events and sporting events that bring in visitors and revenue. I'm probably just scraping the surface here.
If this plan passes, the next time I see a fraternity picking up litter in Oakland I'm going to remind its members that they already pay the city's Department of Public Works to do that. Perhaps the mayor's tone-deaf presentation of this tax as a "fair share" is a direct result of his painless ascension to office. Maybe he'll reap what he sows in four years when the students he is currently overburdening become voters he needs.
Kevin Acklin, Franco Dok Harris and any other challengers out there with the money to run: I hope you come to terms now with which one of you is most viable in four years. Pittsburgh can't afford another split ticket against this incompetent incumbent.