Friday, December 11, 2009

Taxing Students is still foolish

Luke is on the wrong path with this.

My solution is different. He should focus on land. The city is mostly just a place. Pittsburgh has borders and only so many square inches. The land-grab over the years of Pitt taking over Oakland, and so on, have been huge. The main tax, and the one tax with the most "fairness" and best sense of justice, IMNSHO, is based upon land ownership. The nonprofits do NOT pay taxes on their land holdings. So, the total footprint of nonprofit land holdings should shrink. If they want to grow, force them to build upward, on less land, but with higher buildings. IF nonprofit land holdings (from stadiums to churches to universities to schools to jails to empty lots and all else in that realm) contracted, then more land gets taxed. Then values for all increase. A win-win for the economy and citizens / ratepayers occurs once Pittsburgh gets a grip on its nonprofit properties.

They own too much land. Shrinking nonprofit land is what Pittsburgh needs most of all. Nonprofits can manage their assets, and they can increase their cooperation -- without being taxed. They can start by putting more offices into leased and taxed spaces.

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