PITTSBURGH - Leaders of 10 Pittsburgh universities have told the mayor they will not contribute financially to the city, setting up a showdown over a proposed tuition tax.

The leaders said in a letter yesterday that taxing tuition is not the proper way to remedy the city's pension woes. They said they do not plan to make any direct payments to the city.

Mayor Luke Ravenstahl has set a Monday deadline for universities and other tax-exempt nonprofits to agree to pay $5 million annually to the city. Without an agreement, Ravenstahl will ask City Council to vote Wednesday on the 1 percent tuition tax, which would be the first of its kind in the nation. The city needs the additional revenue to plug a hole in its pension plan.

Ravenstahl said he hopes the universities reconsider. - AP