Friday, February 13, 2004
Murphy Proposes Tax on Homeless
Mayor Tom Murphy has come up with a unique plan to help alleviate the city’s budget shortfall. While recent budget proposals such as taxing the city’s alcohol and raising the occupation tax have attempted to provide additional revenue for the city, this new plan looks to tax a segment of the population that has skirted around the issue of paying taxes for years.
“Hundreds of nickels and dimes are being transferred on city streets everyday, and it’s about time the city got its fair share of these financial exchanges,” Murphy argued. “For years, the city’s homeless have been making a profit by sitting on the very concrete Pittsburgh tax payers have had to shell out millions of dollars to construct and maintain. It’s about time the homeless did what is equitable and paid into these city conveniences. That’s why I’m instituting a 2 ﬁ percent tax on every handout a homeless man or woman receives on city streets. Additionally, the homeless will have to pay a fee and get licensed to ask for money on our city streets. That’s why I’m proposing an additional $10 panhandler yearly permit fee. By instituting these changes, the city of Pittsburgh can save over $798 a year.”