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Billboard company opposing Pittsburgh tax plan

PITTSBURGH -- A nationally known billboard firm is turning to _ what else? _ it's billboards to speak out against a Pittsburgh City Council plan to tax the message board.

Lamar Advertising of Baton Rouge, La., is targeting the council members who are proposing the 10-percent tax, Natalia Rudiak and Darlene Harris. One billboard lambasting Rudiak says, "Worst Economy In 50 Years. Natalia Rudiak Says: Let's raise taxes."

The company's attorney, Jonathan Kamin, says Lamar paid more than $60,000 in permit fees for its billboards last year, not to mention real estate taxes and donates free ad space to nonprofits.

The council members, however, are undeterred and getting a kick out of the ads.

Rudiak almost drove off the road laughing at one sign targeting her and says, "Politicians all want free advertising. Thanks, Lamar."

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