Statement and Advance Notes to the PA House Finance Committee
Pittsburgh Public Hearing , August 30, 2007
From Mark Rauterkus, Libertarian
candidate for Pgh Controller & Pgh City Council, district 3.
Vice Chair of the Allegheny County Libertarian Party
The full statement will be sent to the committee via email.
Welcome to Pittsburgh.
I protest the fact that I was NOT able to speak at a PUBLIC HEARING.
Advance notice was given.
Only 4 minutes was requested.
I have experience in professional life with nonprofits:
Work settings include: Gov, nonprofit sports/athletics, public schools, private schools, private clubs, public universities, private universities, religious universities
As an advocate, I worked to fight against UPMC's expansion on the South Side, 1999
Our Libertarian Party, the party of principle, has different perspectives and they need to be told as the solutions of Geo-Libertarians provide common sense.
I've called for the Pgh Service Fund (nonprofit co-op) to issue a self-imposed moratorium on land expansion.
Problem is not the tax free status, rather the swelling of the nonprofit footprint. The expansion of un-taxed land needs to be reversed. The way to 'tighten the belt' or 'get a grip' is to have the nonprofits inventory of land be understood, documented with strong, clear inventory.
That is the work of the City Controller.
That is an open source process and solution.
The nonprofits need to reduce total land holdings by 1% each year for 15 years.
Messing with Act 55, without getting to the root of the problem would cause more serious problems.
Politicians in Pennsylvania are great at the creation of new taxes, not new wealth nor opportunities.
Tax anything that moves
Tax most things that are not moving that are valued – like parking
As taxes increase and conditions change, people vote with their feet and depart the region and state.
Many institutions have departed the city:
Shady Side Academy, a prep school, is not in Shadyside. (see comments)
North Catholic, Luke's old school, is moving out of Allegheny County.
Alcoa moved its corporate headquarters to NYC.
MN's Mayo Clinic, like UPMC, has branches in Florida, East Coast, etc. OUTSIDE home state.
UPMC can open other non PA sites. UPMC can move. UPMC moved it admin to USX Tower, downtown. Moved Children's Hospital out of Oakland. Purchased hospitals in Braddock, and elsewhere.
Nonprofits should build UP – not out. Curtail land expansion. Make urban density.
News coverage from the event, as per the Post-Gazette.
State Senate reviews nonprofit law State Senate reviews nonprofit law Thursday, August 30, 2007 By Rich Lord, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette State senators faced off with hospitals today in an early round of what could be a lengthy debate on how much nonprofit organizations pay to local governments. The occasion was a senate fact-finding hearing in Pittsburgh Council Chambers on Act 55, the 1997 law defining nonprofit groups and their payments to governments. 'The act has worked very well,' said Thomas Boyle, a lawyer for Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney who represents hospitals including the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it.