For background on the universities' joint "No" letter, read the P-G's Schackner and Blazina and the Trib's Brandolph.
After delineating various reasons why they think the Student Tax is not ideal and how the Mayor has been less than perfectly constructive:
On the basis of those subsequent discussions and serious reflection, PCHE will not accept your demands. Among the issues your demand presents are the following:
a. When you solicited significant contributions to the Pittsburgh Promise from the non-profit community, you significantly diminished that community's capacity to support the City, a fact that you have acknowledged on other occasions.
That was point "A".
I am reminded of when the Promise's funding was rolled out, and um, it hit a snag, because UPMC had been quietly assured of receiving conditional tax credits from the City for its donations. One council member pointed out that giving to the Promise was not the same as contributing to the City of Pittsburgh, its infrastructure and its obligations; it was rather like giving to Toys for Tots. We are now seeing one way in which officials' energies poured into the Promise seem to be detracting from the core missions of city government.
*-UPDATE: Vannevar has some fun with this: LINK.