Sunday, March 18, 2012
According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl Does Not Love and Value the Carnegie Library
Tax inefficiency: The city's library billing should not be separate. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 3/17/2012)
Excerpt: City of Pittsburgh property owners got a tax bill in the mail the other day. It wasn't their regular city property tax (that bill went out days earlier), but a bill for the 0.25-mill property tax that supports the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.
Why should one property get two property tax bills, several days apart, from the same city? Good question.
In the computer age, it looks like a classic case of government inefficiency, complete with the added cost. Some library supporters were suspicious that the separate billing was aimed to stir up resentment against the libraries by Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, who opposed the tax and has been less than friendly to the Carnegie system.
Scott Kunka, Pittsburgh's finance director, said the real problem was the city's "old and antiquated" tax billing system. He admitted it would have been ideal for the library tax, approved in a voter referendum last fall [this is what democracy looks like, Mayor], to be tacked on to the property tax bill that includes the city tax and the school district tax. But he said the city's information technology staff estimated it would take 60 to 90 days to reprogram the computer system.
Voters overwhelmingly approve 0.25 mill special tax. (11/11/2011) P
Pittsburgh Voters Asked to Approve 0.25 Mill Special Tax. (11/5/2011)
Library's 6-pronged funding strategy. (1/31/2011)