Pittsburgh City Council gives tentative OK to billboard tax
Pittsburgh's largest outdoor advertising company promised to sue the city on Monday over council's preliminary approval of a 10 percent excise tax on billboards.
Downtown attorney Jonathan Kamin said that Lamar Advertising believes billboards are protected under the First Amendment and he intends to sue in federal court if the bill gains final approval next week.
“They have completely singled out this media, and they're using their council seats as a bully pulpit to persecute us,” Kamin said.
Council approved the bill 7-2. Councilwoman Theresa Kail-Smith and Councilman Bruce Kraus abstained, saying they wanted to discuss it with the city Law Department before voting. Advertising companies would pay 10 percent of revenue received on billboards. Council believes the tax would generate up to $4 million annually. The money would be directed to the general fund for daily operating expenses, but council hopes to earmark it to buy police cars.
Last month, Lamar lashed out against the tax by erecting billboards critical of Council President Darlene Harris and Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak, the bill's sponsors.
Bob Bauder is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-765-2312 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Nearing season’s midpoint, Steelers still have issues to sort out
- Buffalo Township grandma pleads guilty to selling hundreds of pounds of weed
- Rossi: Fleury is, and will remain, Penguins’ soul
- Police: Gunfire in Canadian Parliament after soldier shot
- Lawyer: Steelers center Pouncey, brother won’t be charged in July fracas
- Peduto, Harris compromise on $1.6M for North Side community center
- Officials seek help identifying witness to Port Authority bus crash
- Ross brothers ordered to pay fine, remove debris from Christmas display
- Corbett: $2.5M grant will keep Children’s Hospital ‘a national model’
- Woman accused of hitting Pittsburgh officer at PrideFest pleads guilty to harassment
- Police seize phones of some Norwin High School students