Tax Yale Effort Revived

Markeshia Ricks PhotoMayor Toni Harp pointed to Yale’s recent purchase of 350 George St. and the university’s travel agency as examples of why she supports a State Senate bill to clarify a 182-year-old statute that governs the city’s ability to tax the university’s real estate holdings.

Harp joined alders and local unions at City Hall Tuesday afternoon to support State Senate bill 414, which would clarify an 1834 state statue that says certain colleges, including Yale, “shall not hold in this state real estate free from taxation affording an annual income of more than six thousand dollars.”

“What does this mean?” Board of Alders President Tyisha Walker said of the language. “I don’t know.”

She and others said the bill would answer that question — and potentially put more tax money in city coffers as Yale helps lead New Haven’s “eds and meds” economic development.

Walker, a longtime Yale dining hall worker who has a leadership role in Yale’s UNITE HERE Local 35, which pushed for this Senate bill, said the 1834 statute provides a loophole for colleges and universities earning profit on its activities.

“Does it separate commercial from education? No,” she said. “The law is not clear which of Yale’s commercial properties should be taxable. In practice a Yale property becomes taxable only when Yale agrees not to contest it. The city needs to know what rules separate Yale’s taxable, from its tax-exempt property.”

Yale responded that it already pays lots of taxes to New Haven, along with millions of dollars in voluntary contributions that set it apart from other universities.

Yale spokesman Tom Conroy pointed out the university pays property taxes on all its nonacademic properties and is one of the largest taxpayers in the city. He said all of that was “in addition to making the largest voluntary payment of any university in the nation to any city in the nation.”

“It is the single largest local economic force in New Haven – larger than fellow nonprofits or any private corporation,” according to a fact sheet provided by Conroy.

“Yale University, with annual budget expenditures of $2.8 billion, including salary and benefits expenditures of $1.7 billion, is a major catalyst for New Haven’s prosperity.”

He noted that Yale was one of the city’s top five taxpayers last year, ponying up $4.5 million on its non-academic property, along with an $8.3 million voluntary payment.

With $108 million in assessed real estate, Yale is the city’s fourth largest property owner, after United Illumination, Carter Winstanley’s development firm, and the Fusco Corporation, according to the most recent available figures.

Different Times, Familiar Call

Tuesday’s press conference echoed a political moment that happened in New Haven in 1990 — with a new twist.

Then, amid a recession and city budget crisis, community groups rallied behind a state bill, written by New Haven State Rep. Pat Dillon, that targeted the same 1834 statute, which provides extra tax exemptions to Yale and five other universities beyond those already afforded by law. The effort was part of a “tax Yale” community campaign.

But then, unlike now, New Haven’s mayor led the charge the kill the bill. John Daniels had just been elected mayor then. A former state senator, Daniels called his colleagues in Hartford to tell them he opposed the bill, which then died. He struck a deal instead with Yale as part of that lobbying effort, in which Yale purchased two downtown streets and began making annual voluntary payments to the city.

This time New Haven’s mayor, also a former state senator, led the community charge in favor of the bill.

Harp pointed out Tuesday that Yale has grown from a mere 90 acres in New Haven to 1,000 acres, making it one of the city’s primary property holders.

“Senate Bill 414 would update a 182-year-old statute and set guidelines to distinguish between a college’s commercial and educational real estate holdings,” she said. “Since taxing real estate and other property is the only form of municipal taxation allowed by state law, more modern guidelines as to what is taxable and what is exempt is essential.”

Part of the confusion centers on how to calculate the percentage of a building owned by a college or university that goes toward educational versus commercial purposes. In the past three decades — in part at the urging of the city, which envisioned more local job creation as a result — Yale has promoted the commercialization of its research, which is otherwise a noncommercial activity.

Harp said need for such clarification became apparent when Yale recently purchased 350 George St. (Yale Vice-President Bruce Alexander said the building will probably become offices for the medical school, which “is moving chess pieces around.”)

Harp said depending on how Yale decides to use the once privately held building, it could be taken off the tax rolls. “Should the building come off the tax rolls, city revenue would be reduced by $275,000 annually,” Harp said. “State taxpayers would pick up roughly a third of that through the PILOT [Payments in Lieu of Taxes] program, but the city would have to absorb the rest.”

Harp said Yale’s Travel Management office at 2 Whitney Ave. is also a gray area that might have commercial aspects, but operates out of a building that is not on the city’s tax rolls.

She emphasized that the city has never had any trouble getting Yale to pay for what the tax assessor has said are clearly commercial properties.

“We have a really good relationships with Yale,” she said. “Yale is now one of our largest taxpayers, but we need to make sure we are getting all that we need given the economic conditions of the state.”

The state is grappling with how to absorb a $900 million budget deficit. Harp said she is worried that the state might walk away from PILOT commitments. “Our budget it balanced now, but I can’t guarantee that if we get a huge cut from the state,” she said. “Even if we got this clarification, we would still need the payments in lieu of taxes to make ends meet.”

The Post-Industrial Landscape

Wooster Square Alder Aaron Greenberg said New Haven has changed over the last 40 years: Instead of factories, universities and hospitals are at the center of the city’s economy and the law should reflect that.

“These changes have provided a strong foundation for New Haven, but state law has not caught up,” said Greenberg, a Yale graduate student who also serves as a leader of UNITE HERE Local 33. “Currently Yale university operates under a 19th century state law that grants it a blanket tax exemption. Under that law, Yale can run commercial businesses on its tax exempt property. Independent businesses mean while do pay taxes.

“As alder for the Eighth Ward, I think about the businesses in my ward — the many family owned merchants and restaurants on Wooster Street that have been serving New Haven for generations,” he added. “Things work differently for Yale, and SB414 would update and clarify the law making sure that Yale plays by the same rules as everyone else.”

Jackie James, director of the city’s small business academy and a deputy director of economic development, said that what small businesses contribute in the way of taxes to the city makes a difference.

“We clearly understand that small business are very important to the economic health of this city, in particular to communities of color,” she said. “These businesses have one thing in common: They pay property taxes if they own their own building. They have to pay property taxes. Small businesses do their part to contribute to the tax base of this city we call home. That’s why we want to make sure that everyone is playing by the same rules. We don’t want one set of rules for us and another for Yale.”

Mayor Harp said that no one is looking to tax Yale’s or any other postsecondary institution’s educational property. The bill would in fact protect that exemption, she said. But she said the state’s economy is changing, relying “more and more on eds and meds, as you’ve heard—colleges and hospitals that create good jobs that lift thousands from poverty.

“Yale’s growth in New Haven has been a source of pride, a pillar of the city’s strength and a driving force in the city’s transformation. But we also need to be clear as a policy matter about the fiscal impact of this transition,” she said. “One unintended consequence of the current situation is an uneven playing field for businesses where it certainly becomes more difficult to attract private capital to compete in an environment where only new businesses must pay taxes. We want to encourage Yale’s growth and we want to avoid doing so at the cost of local businesses.”

Text of the Senate Bill 414

Following is the text of the bill, titled “An Act Concerning The Tax On College Property”:

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:
Section 1. Subdivision (8) of section 12-81 of the 2016 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2016 and applicable to assessment years commencing on or after October 1, 2016):
(8) (A) The funds and estate which have been or may be granted, provided by the state, or given by any person or persons to the Trustees of the Berkeley Divinity School, the board of trustees of Connecticut College for Women, the Hartford Seminary Foundation, Sheffield Scientific School, Trinity College, Wesleyan University or The President and Fellows of Yale College in New Haven, and by them respectively invested and held for the use of such institution, with the income thereof. [;provided none of said corporations shall hold in this state]

(B) Such exemptions shall not apply to any (i) real estate [free from taxation] affording an annual income of more than six thousand dollars; or (ii) real estate where such institutions holds real estate consisting of land, buildings and equipment valuing more than two billion dollars in the aggregate and the activities on such real estate afford the institution an annual income of more than six thousand dollars. Such [exemption] exemption shall not apply to any real estate which said Trustees of the Berkeley Divinity School own, control or hold in trust, and which is situated in the city of Middletown. For the purposes of this section, “activities” means (I) rents or other payments for the use of all or any part of real estate exempt from taxation pursuant to the subsection (a) of this section, or any fixtures or equipment permanently installed thereon, received or due from any for-profit entity, but not including individuals for persona use; (II) fees collected for admission or use from faculty, employees, or enrolled students, or events in which substantially all of the athletes or performers are faculty or enrolled students; (III) fees, charges, or royalties for any goods designed, produced, manufactured or generated on all or any part of such real estate, provided such goods are for sale to the public and to for-profit entities and (IV) fees or charges for any services rendered on, or from all or any part, of such real estate to the public or any for-profit entity; and “for-profit entity” means corporations, partnerships, joint ventures, sole proprietorships or other business entity.

(C) No other provision of this section concerning exemption of property used for education purposes shall be construed to affect any provision of the subdivision;

{Proposed deletions are enclosed in brackets. Proposed additions are indicated by italics.}

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posted by: westville man on March 16, 2016  8:23am

Years ago I had a client who was a teacher at Yale and he told me how it wasn’t uncommon for Yale to buy a building and then use it for occasional seminars to avoid paying real property taxes in New Haven while really using it for other purposes.
That model may now have change to laboratory use which is without a doubt tethered to for-profit pharmaceutical companies. I see nothing wrong with an investigation at this point.

Can Yale stop the “we pay the most (a lot of) taxes” argument?  It’s a question of fair share, not of the amount alone.  If I own a Bentley and you own a Honda,  is it enough that I pay more than you in taxes?  What if I pay $100/yr more than you when I should be paying $2,000/yr more?  So what that Yale pays the most taxes- that is irrelevant. 

And for those who say New Haven would be nothing without Yale,  I say Yale wouldn’t be a multi-billion dollar corporation if not for the taxpayers of New Haven (and smaller percentage from the State).  New Haven has been very good for Yale.

posted by: UrbanPlanner on March 16, 2016  8:34am

Is there a list online of all the addresses/properties that Yale owns? Can someone please post. Im curious about the 100 million dollar valuation.

I think Yale needs to pay its fair share, but as a non-profit they should be able to operate their non-profit entities tax-free. They do a lot of good as a non-profit too… and create a lot of taxes in form of payroll etc

posted by: wendy1 on March 16, 2016  8:40am


I have been telling these j**** for years,  TAX   YALE
And start now.
Anyone of you can visit Sally Brown’s vault on Floor 2 of cityhall of records and spend months reading through Yale Corp. real estate buying and selling.

posted by: robn on March 16, 2016  8:44am

Firstly, $6000 from 1834 is about $165,000 of today’s dollars. That our city leaders didn’t do the math on this doesn’t surprise me.

Second, this bill is as ambiguous and poorly written as the original law, leading me to believe that this is union/BOA political theater.

Third, the bill should simply define what’s exempt, not the opposite. The legislature should exactly define educational entities that are directly related to educating people (classroom buildings and support, teaching salaries, limited housing and food services which bear market rate or below); they should stop trying to exclude peripheral stuff like travel agencies or other service entities (because they have no idea even what’s out there or how the categories might be gamed in the future).

Fourth, the State of Connecticut needs to put its money where its mouth is, recognize the anachronistic thinking that colleges and hospitals just serve the locals, and fund the unfunded mandate. 100% PILOT.

posted by: wendy1 on March 16, 2016  8:46am

When I ran Sundiata K. who was with me on taxing Yale,  the city budget of 500 Mill got only 13 Mill from Yale who owns the 2nd richest school on the planet and the 4th largest US hospital.  Yale has connected with Singapore, the Cayman Islands of China.  Greed is their creed and money is their god.  I aint the Director of the Bernie Madoff $chool of Money for nothing.

posted by: robn on March 16, 2016  8:49am

Oh yeah, on the subject of the monetization of intellectual property, there’s a pretty standard way of doing things in the world of software; many products are free to use until you use them commerically, whereupon you’re charged for it. Simply put, if something makes money, its commercial.

posted by: Adelaide on March 16, 2016  9:30am

Ty Ms. Walker for taking up the charge on this!! I for one, couldn’t be happier. Of course Yale pays alot of taxes, it uses more stuff!! It owns more than half of New Haven why shouldn’t it pay more? When I think of all that Yale has cost this city in jobs, housing (it’s why these apts. are so UNaffordable), to even having to post little signs on the ground to keep students from running into traffic!

Does the city benefit from having Yale here? Absolutely and it should! Much has been given to Yale, it is time to pay it’s fair share!

Considering the amount of Yale’s endowment….COUGH UP THE CASH!

As a side note, why was James a part of this article? Given her less than stellar history, I mean really???

posted by: Renewhavener on March 16, 2016  10:07am

From the article “Our budget it balanced now, but I can’t guarantee that if we get a huge cut from the state,” [Toni Harp] said. “Even if we got this clarification, we would still need the payments in lieu of taxes to make ends meet.”

Sounds like we continue to live beyond our means.  Why don’t we try making cuts to non-value-added services.  Might also consider refraining from making transfer payments to NGO’s that utilize less than 75% of those funds towards programs expense and/or who utilize more than 25% of those funds towards salary and benefits expenses:

posted by: Seven-Tenths on March 16, 2016  10:54am

Yale owns 800 grad students apartments throughout New Haven.

For some reason they pay property taxes on roughly 500 of the apartments, but not on the other 300. Does anyone know why?

Shouldn’t all of Yale’s income property be taxed?

ps—by definition an apartment building is not a dorm, as a dorm is described as a building with shared kitchen and bath facilities.

posted by: robn on March 16, 2016  11:02am

Recognizing that taxing any university for its academic properties will fly in the face of centuries of US tradition and legal precedent, I state to the comnplainers that ITS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. Taxing Yale for commercial properties seems fine to me but its a drop in the bucket (and a sound bite for the BOA) compared to the greater issue of the non-profit exemption itself.

The city should stop demonizing Yale and go to the source of the problem which is that the state constitution originally indentified societal value within these institutions. What should happen today is an Equal Protection lawsuit against the state arguing that the tax exemption given to contemporary large multinational institutions puts an unfair burden on municipalities. The state should pick up tab with 100% PILOT.

posted by: ILivehere on March 16, 2016  11:05am

I can’t wait to see how the unions use this as a bargaining chip to get a deal for the members.

posted by: Dwightstreeter on March 16, 2016  11:34am

Why should the State pay taxes for wealthy “non-profits” like Yale?
We are no longer dealing with small colleges and community hospitals, but with multi-national corporations that work their way Pac Man style across the state and the globe.
Yale’s $24 billion endowment is blatant hoarding.
The bloated salaries of staffers at these subsidized institutions (that’s what a tax exemption is) move resources from staff to management and Boards, composed of friends of management) rubber stamp them or lose their paid spot on the Board.
Whether the movement to ascertain the real value of property held by Yale or any other wealthy corporation getting tax breaks is sponsored by the unions or leprechauns, is irrelevant.
The residents of New Haven are subsidizing Yale and that is wrong.
PILOT has never been fully funded so let’s abandon that joke.

posted by: webblog on March 16, 2016  11:38am

I have to question why all the grand standing and posturing over this issue which has been settled law for two centuries now.

The legality on this question was answered in 1990 when Pat Dillon posed the question to the state legislature and the courts. Yale, Trinity and Wesleyan have a constitutional statue granting them freedom from taxation on educational purpose properties. That exemption has allowed Yale to claim properties as educational, when they may not be, thereby saving millions of dollars in order to purchase city properties resulting in very high new market rates. Yale pays the standard 70% evaluation on its commercial properties; the problem lies with the assessor’s office that only provides arm chair analysis of Yale’s properties every five years.
In the mean time, it is the Mayor and Alders who allow Yale free taxation of hundreds of acres of land adjacent to the Yale golf course, It is the Mayor and the Alders who sell city streets to Yale, who sell parking lots to Yale, who allow Yale to buy curbs and sidewalks in order to expand store fronts on Broadway, all of which negatively impacts the city’s ability to accurately assess value and to adjust taxation on Yale for the future.
Additionally, Yale is allowed to determine when and how much it pays New Haven in pilot payment. Yale pays a pilot fee to New Haven for fire district coverage, coupled with payments for the number of rooms occupied in it’s under graduate dormitories. Neither of these fees has increased since the deal was made between Yale and then Mayor Daniels.

So, just who is a negligent in taxation here, Yale, the city, and/or both?

posted by: Samuel T. Ross-Lee on March 16, 2016  12:36pm

The “New Haven would be nothing without Yale” mantra sounds like some kind of an implicit threat. 

To the threat, I say this: Why don’t you act on the threat, Yale?  Why don’t you pull up stakes and leave?

Yeah, that’s what I thought.

posted by: Dwightstreeter on March 16, 2016  1:07pm

FYI all of you who believe NH is nothing w/o Yale, Bridgeport’s economy is actually doing better and has been for some time. Lower unemployment and more new business.
The Yale PR machine never mentions that.

posted by: wendy1 on March 16, 2016  1:21pm

Yale has always been the elephant in the living room…or the gorilla….whatever.  If they left we would have space for several states’ homeless and would receive world-wide coverage for doing it.  Many homeless are bright and capable of working in many fields.  But we all know Yale is invested in STAYING.  By the way, check out their magnificent golf course in Westville.

We must join with ms. Walker or whoever is willing to demand renumeration for centuries of “abuse ” by Yale.  They restricted Blacks and Jews and women for most of their history in spite of a few tokens like the one Chinese student in 1850.  I read his book.

Come on now, New Haven…..time to get real and get real angry at the predator in our midst (Rick Wolff quote).

posted by: Renewhavener on March 16, 2016  1:31pm

@robn, “The state should pick up tab with 100% PILOT.”  Given the current budgetary landscape that is about a likely as the unwinding of precedents you speak of back to federal land-grant.

Posted previously that New Haven is set to receive $7,465,427 in Pilot money in FY 16 or a 23% effective rate of reimbursement: Grants.pdf

Full funding is useful as a political instrument, but would do little to move the needle in New Haven’s municipal budget picture.  To demonstrate 100% Pilot funding would imply we get $32,458,378, or an additional $24,992,951, let’s just say effectively $25MM.  While nothing to sneeze at, the $25MM only represents a 3.8% lift to our current budget picture.  In other words it won’t do much. 

Consider also that at 100% Pilot from the state, many other voluntary Pilot contributions like Yale’s are likely to vanish, diminishing the overall lift further.  Or put this way, add $25MM, subtract Yale’s $8MM, and you are left with $17MM, or only 2.6% lift.  So it won’t even be as much as we think.

With most legislation like this it is the unintended consequences that result which are apt to cause even more problems in NH and throughout the state.  Believe more tools exist in the toolbox on the expense side of the budget to overcome a great deal more cuts at the state level.  It is just more convenient to make our state delegation go seek it from Yale.  Another politically useful bad idea resurrected by team Harp.

posted by: TheMadcap on March 16, 2016  1:33pm

Fact: The law needs to be changed, as the article says, what Yale pays taxes on comes down to essentially what Yale decides not to argue against. Let’s not forget the golf course was tax exempt as “educational property” until Yale decided to look like a hero and put half of it on the tax rolls voluntarily.

Fact. Bridgeport is not doing better than New Haven and no city should want to emulate Bridgeport. Have you been to Bridgeport lately? Especially at night?

posted by: Bradley on March 16, 2016  1:39pm

The current law is dated and unclear. But, reiterating Robn’s first post, I don’t know that the bill is any clearer. Take 350 George as an example. Let’s assume that it is used as offices for the faculty of the Med School. They will be spending part of their time teaching medical students and doing non-commercial research, which are clearly tax-exempt activities. Some of the faculty will also engage in research that has or may have commercial potential. Without doing detailed time and financial accounting of each of the faculty members housed in the building, how would you determine whether it is taxable?  Often, the commercial benefits of research occur years after the research is conducted.

posted by: robn on March 16, 2016  1:44pm


The answer to “why not tax Yale” is simply that it would be indefensible in court (unless one magically got every state legislature in the country to simultaneously tax non-profits.)

We can, however, challenge the fairness of the exemption law under our own state constitution.

posted by: Jonathan Hopkins on March 16, 2016  1:56pm

A bill that clarified what exactly should be tax-exempt educational, non-commercial property would be excellent. It would seem that any property housing an activity that makes money would be commercial, including residents/apartments, stores, certain types of research, etc. All the classroom, library, and purely academic facilities would remain tax-exempt.

There is the issue of quasi-academic facilities, however, like undergraduate student residential colleges, recreational facilities, staff offices, etc. that were at one time (in the 19th and early 20th century) supplied to schools by the private market, which paid taxes ( For me, these types of quasi-academic facilities should compensated for in some way. However, a provision such as that would have widespread implications for all boarding schools, and college and university throughout the city and state, so it may not be feasible to look at in the short term.

posted by: Dwightstreeter on March 16, 2016  3:11pm

Robn: any law can be changed, provided the political will exists. That is stating the obvious.
    Exemptions can be limited or eliminated.
    Piketty is persuasive that wealth tends to accumulate towards those who acquire some, then amass more by political and tax manipulations.
    In a rigged economy where the middle class has been decimated and jobs and job benefits have disappeared, government must re-examine all assumptions, including the rationale for exemptions for religious and educational institutions. A reasonable ceiling on the accumulations of assets could be established. Anything over the ceiling is taxed like any other property in that category.
    If the law can restore full citizenship to former slaves and expand eminent domain to include redevelopment as a public purpose, it can come up with a fair system of taxation that doesn’t protect the haves at the expense of the have nots.

posted by: robn on March 16, 2016  4:55pm


We would be out of step with every other state in the union and it wouldn’t survive a court challenge, period.


I’m not talking about the legislatures interpretation of PILOT, I’m talking about actual payment in lieu of taxes. Yales total property is supposedly worth $2.5B and if the state wants to sponsor their social mission and not unconstitutionally tax the residents of New Haven, the state should pay Yales $100M in property taxes. You guys wonder why NHV has a perpetual budget problem? Look to Hartford

posted by: WendyLost on March 16, 2016  5:12pm

Yes, please lets be the only city the country to ask a university who is paying massively more than any of its peers to pay more. You don’t see harvard paying nearly as much PILOT or getting half as much gruff from cambridge.

In fact I would rather live in a Yale-free New Haven. BRIDGEPORT OR BUST 2016!

But lets be honest, its a bunch of white baby boomer Union heads who want to live off that fat even more. The actual new haven residents in their ranks are just pawns. Surprise surprise, the poor get used again.

posted by: ILivehere on March 16, 2016  5:45pm

@WendyLost what are you talking about pilot funds come from the state not from Yale.

The fact is most schools like Yale have figured out that being located in a first class city is a great recruiting tool. Penn, Harvard, Princeton have all started giving huge dollars to gentrify there surroundings. Only Yale is content with its students and faculty constantly getting assaulted walking home from campus.

posted by: asdfghjkl; on March 16, 2016  11:08pm

The relationship between Yale and New Haven is already so one sided. New Haven is always cited as the number one reason prospective students decide not to enroll at Yale. It’s by far Yale’s biggest liability when recruiting students and faculty. Meanwhile, Yale employs 13,000 people in significantly better jobs than the New Haven private sector could produce on its own. It pays over $12 million dollars to the city every year. Plus, there’s no way that projects like 100 College Street, 360 State St, 300 George, or LiveWorkLearnPlay, and the tax dollars they will generate, would exist without Yale.

I don’t understand the claim that Yale doesn’t pay its fair share. It does so much for New Haven without getting much back.

posted by: wendy1 on March 17, 2016  7:18am

Wendy 1   is   NOT   Wendylost.  I dont know who that is.

posted by: ILivehere on March 17, 2016  9:31am

The only revenue the city can collect is property taxes. 60% of the city is nontaxable. New Haven is a liability for Yale because Yale has taken so much property of the tax roles that the city can not provide basic services. If Yale would step up and fund the difference between what the state provides in PILOT and what the property tax’s would be if they were not not for profit the mil rate would be in high 20’s and we would have good schools, enough police with cars that work, a functional public works department, a funded pension program, and everything else the city needs. No business could function if it could only keep 40% of its earned income.

posted by: Dwightstreeter on March 17, 2016  11:28am

The history of the tax exemptions for colleges and universities, and Yale in particular, can be found in the following resources:

Why are Colleges and Universities Exempt from Taxes? by Henry Hansmann 2013

Is Tax Exemption Instinsic or Contingent? by Peter Dobkin Hall

Report of the 1985 Tax Commission Report, chaired by Richard Wolff

Exemptions are basically subsidies and were rational when there were few educational institutions. They were viewed as PUBLIC resources, not private. Now that we have truly publicly funded colleges and universities, this reasoning seems illogical.
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posted by: Renewhavener on March 17, 2016  12:47pm

@robn, sounds more like “payment of taxes” rather than “payment in lieu of taxes”, but do get where you are coming from. Sadly, the dems to our north lead by Brendan Sharkey have been trying this on Quinnipiac and are headed nowhere.  Can look into what is happening between Princeton and their host city for ivy framed view on the matter.  In QU’s case all Hamden has managed to do is push QU into North Haven’s arms.  With the purchase of Anthem’s building and the move their medical, law, etc. professional schools out of town who loses those economic windfall of the students’ daily consumptive spending not to mention the building permit fees?  Who gets to live with the poor choices and behavior of the undergrads and who gets the more focused and mature grad students?  Go Dragons!

@Samuel T. Ross-Lee, And Yale would never do what QU has?  Oh… wait… who owns Bayer?  That’s right our favorite root of all evil ivy league institution.  As they have relocated a number of research functions and the Nursing School there, it seems they actually would.  So they may not leave entirely, but they also certainly won’t focus their growth plans exclusively in New Haven either.

posted by: Jonathan Hopkins on March 17, 2016  2:17pm


Do you know where the 1985 Tax Commission Report can be viewed?

posted by: Dwightstreeter on March 17, 2016  2:27pm


I got my copy from Rick Wolff.
Let me see if I can scan it and make it available.

posted by: Dwightstreeter on March 17, 2016  2:54pm

@Jonathan Hopkins: I have both hard copy and scanned doc for you. where and how to deliver?

posted by: Frank Columbo on March 17, 2016  5:22pm

Yale leases half of the upper floors of 157 Church St. the financial building housing Bank of America I think. Are taxes being paid At that location by Yale directly or is that absorbed into their leasing fees?

posted by: ILivehere on March 17, 2016  5:38pm

@Frank Columbo
Only property owned by nonprofits comes off the tax roles. If a nonprofit leases a property the taxes are unchanged, so taxes are paid for any property Yale leases by the property owner.

posted by: Frank Columbo on March 17, 2016  10:36pm

I recall a former neighbor of mine, who worked out of Yale’s Woodbridge Hall back in the 70’s saying in response to this very issue, probably due to the Green Party’s rally to Tax Yale, “so without Yale, New Haven would just have lots more housing projects.” I remember the contempt in his voice.

Thanks I live here!

posted by: Jonathan Hopkins on March 18, 2016  12:31pm

The 1985 Tax Commission Report can be viewed here:

posted by: FacChec on March 18, 2016  1:20pm

@ Jonathan Hopkins on March 18, 2016 12:31pm

The 1985 Tax Commission Report can be viewed here:

Mr Hopkins, thank you for that report, however, the only actionable result from the commission report was the recommendation that Sec 28 of the charter be amended. That was passed by the board of Alders on August 5, 1985. You and all can see the amended section here:

Chapter 28 - TAXATION[1]

Sec. 28-1. - List of exempt property prepared by assessor.
The assessor shall annually, on or before the first day of June, present to the mayor, to be by him presented to the board of aldermen, an accurate, detailed statement of all lands and buildings on which local taxes are not assessed, giving locations, descriptions, assessor’s valuations, names of owners, and reason for exemptions. Said report shall include the results of an audit by the assessor of tax-exempt commercial activity undertaken by nonprofit entities to ensure conformance with local and state tax requirements, and said report shall also contain the valuation of personal property owned by tax-exempt institutions and utilities. Failure to comply with reports and information required by the assessor pursuant to this section shall result in a penalty payable to the City of New Haven of one hundred dollars ($100.00) per parcel per day of failure to comply.

(Code 1928, § 840; Ord. of 8-5-85)

Since the amendments passage there has been no affirmative attempt to revise the taxation policy towards the entities mentioned within. Instead, what the assessor does every five years is to continue to assess the non-profits as non taxable and continue the pattern of city taxpayers picking up the difference between the sorry-sassed pilot payment including state pilot payments = 38-42% subtracted from the 70% valuation.

posted by: Dwightstreeter on March 18, 2016  2:31pm

The Report recommended a first step that requires an inventory of all Yale Corp’s property, then a determination of what is or is not exempt.
To my knowledge, that inventory has never been done.

posted by: robn on March 18, 2016  6:55pm


I don’t think you’re catching my drift. Tax Yale for commercial property and then have the state of CT pick up the rest. It’s the states mandate after all.

posted by: BoydJones on March 18, 2016  10:25pm

I love how all these “liberals” can spend so much energy complaining about Yale living within the rules, but can’t bring themselves to be concerned about the lack of education equity here in the city. It is so stupid to claim that Yale is the predator in the city. That would actually be NHPS and its $425 million. Get your priorities straight, you faux liberals.