“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” – Inigo Montoya
Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl seems to have a poor grasp of what “voluntary” means. From an article with the headline, “Mayor Ravenstahl to nonprofits: pay up or else“:
“‘As we see the reductions [in voluntary contributions from nonprofit organizations] continue, and not meet what we need, this is our alternative,’ [Ravenstahl] said of surcharges on hospital admissions, undergraduate students, all-day parkers and nonprofit water users. A move toward fees ‘potentially would be the best way to compel the nonprofits to come to the table.’ The mayor discussed the issue during a session with the Post-Gazette editorial board.”
What’s the problem? Well, the city is badly in debt and the mayor’s looking for ways to bring in more money. Since the city is replete with non-profits that are to varying degrees tax-exempt, the mayor is hoping to extort money from them in some other way.