Some Pittsburgh Council members met with University of Pittsburgh officials today to discuss new fees proposed by Mayor Luke Ravenstahl.
When Ravenstahl unveiled his proposed 2010 budget nearly three weeks ago, it included $15 million in revenues from an assorted package of new charges that could include fees on hospital admissions, college students, people who park all day in city-owned garages, and maybe a rate increase for water used by educational and medical institutions. That's because there is no new agreement with major non-profits on payments in lieu of property taxes. Between 2005 and 2007, tax-exempt organizations contributed $14 million to the city's operating budget. They offered $5.5 million for 2008 to 2010 but the city never accepted it...indicating the amount was too small.
After today's meeting, Councilwoman Theresa Smith that she is comfortable that the University of Pittsburgh is very willing to work with the city and other non-profit institutions "to resolve the disparity." Smith says fees should be a last resort but council wants to make sure that city residents don't have to pay more in taxes.