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Fairness-exempt

Written by Rosa Colucci on .

Regarding taxation of college tuition, The New York Times, in a Dec. 15 article, stated, "The tax would be the first of its kind in the nation, and other cities are watching closely." Well, Pittsburgh won't be leading the nation in taxing college tuition.

It is now apparent, if it was not all along, that the real goal was to force the nonprofits to increase their contributions in lieu of taxes.

We all know that Pittsburgh needs money, especially to cover the unfunded pension liability. The mayor has found the universities, institutions of purely public charity, a lucrative source of funds. This at a time when: every institution of higher education has its own security staff; its buildings are essentially fireproof; and the institution pours money into the local economy by way of employment and other taxes, such as entertainment, etc.

But: Are for-profits carrying their fair share of the burden?

And: How can a UPMC be considered an institution of purely public charity if it:

* Suddenly and very precipitously closes a hospital that serves the poor in an underserved area (Braddock), to build a hospital in an affluent and already overserved area (Monroeville)?

* Takes area money and uses it to build/manage hospitals outside the area, even outside the country?

* Spends millions on marketing and non-health-care events?

Perhaps the city should expect for-profits, as well as nonprofits that are really for-profit, to carry their fair share of the burden. Or are they exempt?

 

SISTER MARY TRAUPMAN
Brighton Heights

 

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