Happy MISERS! Colleges Across Boston Refuse To Pay For Basic City Services

By Eric Owens | The Daily Caller | July 23, 2015

A bunch of fancypants colleges and universities in Boston blatantly fail to pay voluntary fees for essential services provided by the taxpayers, such as police protection, fire protection and snow removal, an analysis by The Boston Globe reveals.

The private schools and their ultra-valuable campuses are tax-exempt by law. However, the city of Boston sends each school a bill twice a year, which requests — but does not demand — payment for basic services rendered.

Out of the 19 schools the Beantown municipal government asks for payments, only six gave even as much as half of the amount sought. The remaining 13 provided less than half — and often way less than half.

At Harvard University, school officials chose to contribute just 44 percent of the amount the city of Boston sought in 2015.

Harvard’s endowment is $36.4 billion. It is larger than the entire gross-domestic product of Jordan and, in fact, larger than half the economies on the planet.

In 2010, Harvard Magazine published a 5,342-word article entitled “Time to Tax Carbon.”

Other schools in Boston were similarly miserly this year when asked to pay any share for services.

Boston College gave just 23 percent of the amount Boston’s officials have sought, for example.

Northeastern University provided just 11 percent of the amount requested.

Northeastern’s endowment of $713 million is about the same as the annual GDP of the archipelago island nation of Comoros.

In March of this year, the Globe reported contemporaneously, officials at Northeastern made a late payment of $886,000 for essential services in the face of criticism.

Before that, the private school had provided exactly nothing at all for its share of city services.

In 2013, the director of Northeastern’s Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy signed a statement backing then-Gov. Deval Patrick’s plan to increase income taxes for Massachusetts residents.

“We believe there needs to be a significant increase in investment to make sure we remain economically competitive,” the director, Barry Bluestone, told the Globe at the time.

Boston’s four-year-old program of voluntary taxes asks private, tax-exempt institutions which hold property worth over $$15 million to pay for the basic amenities the city provides.

Not all the wealthy private schools in town have been so stingy. For example, Boston University ponied up 86 percent of its voluntary payment. That amounts to over $6 million.

Tufts University paid its full amount of $491,400.

Other nonprofits, such as hospitals, have paid far more generously than colleges and universities have under the program.

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