PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The debate continues over a proposed new tax that would affect South Side residents.

Supporters say it will help clean up the streets, but opponents say that is not their responsibility.

It’s an issue that has divided a neighborhood, a tax that some say will clean up the South Side.

“If we want, as a homeowner, to be protected and taken care of and cleaned up after, I think we have to pay something,” said Jim McCluskey, a homeowner.

However, others say it is an open-ended burden on people who shouldn’t be responsible.

“I can’t see why anybody, that doesn’t cause that dirt, pay for the people who are making the mess,” said another South Side resident. “And nobody does anything about it. Let them pay for it.”

Last night, during a planning meeting, it was voted to now pass the proposal for a Neighborhood Improvement District over to Pittsburgh City Council for their review and possible vote.

“That plan would be mailed to everyone in the proposed district. So then, the people would have a chance to vote,” a local official said. “We’re a long ways a way from a vote ever actually taking place.”

As it stands now, the tax that would help fund the improvement district would be capped at $480 a year for homeowners, for commercial property owners, the cap would be set at $7,500.

Forty percent would have to vote against the improvement district for it to not move forward.

“Bars can pass on this tax through higher drinks, landlords can pass it on through higher rents, but a plain resident has to just take this tax and pay it,” Mary Konieczny, the owner of the Glazing Pot, said.

Neighborhood Improvement Tax Proposed For South Side Residents (5/9/12)
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