Monday, July 02, 2007

Boosting tourism funds spurs hot debate point

This is bad.
Boosting tourism funds spurs hot debate point Area lawmakers are at odds over a proposal to shift about $1.6 million in funding from Allegheny County libraries, recreation and cultural programs to fund Pittsburgh tourism.

The hotly debated proposal passed through the House Urban Affairs Committee last week on a 15-7 vote.

Sponsored by state Rep. Thomas Petrone, D-Crafton Heights, the bill calls for VisitPittsburgh, Allegheny County's official tourism agency, to get 2 percent of funds that the Allegheny Regional Asset District receives each year as its share of the county sales tax.
Globally, I'm in favor of a complete re-do of the RAD tax. The RAD tax (Regional Asset District) is bad for Allegheny County. However, we need to re-think it from scratch.

Otherwise, if we can't do a re-do and 'think again' about the RAD tax, then it is bad public policy to take money from the RAD funds and pass them to the tourist organizations.

I'd much rather do things for people who LIVE, WORK, INVEST and RESIDE here rather than tourists who live some place else.

I don't want to give more money to the Convention Center. Rather, we should sell the Convention Center and get it off the backs of the public and the taxpayers.

I'm with John Maher and strongly opposed to Tom Petrone's bill.

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