Today’s Inside Higher Education reports that the Mayor of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has proposed a 1% sales tax on private higher ed tuition. In Pittsburgh they plan to use the funds to cover health care costs and a shortfall in the library budget, but they have 10 different institutions, whose tuitions range widely.
We have one, and their tuition is currently $38,840 to the undergraduates, who, today, number 5,044. A rough rule of thumb suggests that – just on undergraduates, only 10 or so of whom come from Somerville – this represents at least $1,959,089.60 “on the table” for the City of Somerville, should people press that Pittsburgh precedent.
What that actually represents is something like our current parking tax increase.
Or it actually represents the shortfall in school budgets, and free, universal kindergarten (which, by odd coincidence, is one of those specialties at Tufts that has recently excluded the children of their own maintenance staff).
Or it represents how Tufts students never vote locally, and thus sacrifice the chance to effect their own costs and rights.
Or it could represent a real opportunity to specify how much and where and when Tufts does contribute already to the city’s strength and viability.
Which of those options best fits YOUR needs? Thanks Pittsburgh for the chance to look at ourselves in a new and fresh light.