Friday, November 12, 2004

Lawmakers oppose $144 occupation tax

"That is the worst of all worlds," Roddey said.

Sigh. One trend in Pittsburgh that I've pondered and am now putting into the Platform for-Pgh deals with our decisions and method of making community choices. Often, we out-pace the worst by a step. Now it seems as if the best choice isn't the only one to blow our doors off -- as we are neck and neck with the worst.

Now the conversation deals with "the mix." There is a mix of taxes all about to swirl around and come out in the wash. Occupation tax, pinch of parking tax, deed-transfer tax, place-holder taxes, jumps in property taxes, commuter tax, service cuts, garbage tax, increased fees, payroll taxes on for-profits, grants from the state, grants from the non-proftis, privitazations, and so on.

The final mix, whatever it is, is in the hands of state legislatures now. Right.

The chair of the ICA, William Lieberman, said, "This is a working document that is not meant to be definitive."

This is important for all to understand. Many around here have been thinking that the oversight folks are here to solve the problems. Wrong. The oversight folks are here for oversight. That's about all they can do. And, oversight is no little feat given the city's ways under this mayor. Oversight isn't for fixing the problems. Oversight isn't a solutions provider.

The fix from these ills we now suffer is going to come when we oust the existing administration and put new leadership into place on Grant Street.

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