A Yale University student that cooperates with Tastie Fish instigated an interesting conversation within our newsroom about Yale University’s fight to stay tax exempt.
After looking into it, we noticed an article that states Yale only pays roughly $4.5 million in property taxes, and an additional voluntary payment of $8.2 million.
The math does not add up, which makes sense of the political push to address it.
There is conflicting reports however.
The office of budget and management reported that Yale was scheduled to pay $28.2 million in taxes attached to exempt properties in 2014.
That make’s more sense than $13 million, but even $28 million is a very small amount given what Yale is in possession of.
Liquid, and land, Yale’s total worth approaches $30 billion.
Yale University would like to maintain to maintain the institution’s tax exempt status in regards to paying property taxes in New Haven.
Last year the school opposed senate legislation that would tax the school’s vaunted endowment fund.
It has become a hot button issue, Yale owns a considerable amount of property in New Haven that has steadily appreciated over the years.
According to a report in the New Haven Register, Yale owns roughly 2.5 billion in real estate assets, and there is no doubt that number has climbed in since the report was filed.
With an endowment that is rumored to be in the $25 billion range, the university paying meager amounts of property taxes while functioning as a booming business has become the subject of political and legal scrutiny.
Yale has aggressively made the argument that despite the vast amount of property they control in the city limits of New Haven, they should be absolved of paying the same taxes everyone else does because of what they bring to the city, and the fact they Yale was here before the union formed.
So the exempt status “is grandfathered” in according to sources.
Yale presented opposition to the proposed legislation that would tax Yale’s property, and an endowment that exceeds the net worth of some of the biggest companies in America
From Yale Daily News
“Yale said the bill would erode the value of the endowment and eventually reduce the amount of endowment revenue available to support recurring expenses. Yale would have to pay a tax on money that should be saved for future generations of students or spend at rates that would be considered imprudent under widely accepted financial standards.
Either choice, the university maintained, would undermine Yale’s ability to sustain its exemplary record on affordability and access, state-of-the-art research, and generous investment in revitalizing New Haven.”
Yale’s argument is a debatable one, while the institution is an essential cog in New Haven’s economy, a driving force behind commerce, and a place of supreme research and education, it’s not very democractic for the most powerful company in town to not pay taxes on property, or cash assets.
New Haven is a thriving city, but a common complaint among residents taxes.
The city taxes your car, your home, and it adds up.
Independent business owners in New Haven pay property taxes, and they are not working with $25 billion.
The State Senate has an obligation to keep the playing field level, and not play favorites, especially when it comes to business.
Yale is working with billions dollars and that does not include what they pull down in grants, tuition, and rent from New Haven business owners that operate Yale owned buildings.
Yale graduates, and current students, donate untold amounts of money to the university, in fact, they are prompted to do so.
Donating ridiculous amounts of money to the institution goes without saying according to sources.
It’s expected, and there is nothing wrong with it.
Which meansYale will never be hurting for dough, and we are not hating, let them eat.
But the debate is not cut and dry, neither side has an overpowering argument.
Senate Bill 414 is a serious piece of legislation, not only would it give the state of Connecticut the opportunity to tap into over $25 billion dollars, but it also would be a massive windfall for New Haven.
New Haven could be looking at tens of millions of dollars per a year that the city is not seeing right now, and it’s doubtful Yale would be damaged in the long run.
Yale is no different than Apple in terms of function, on paper they are a non-profit, but so is the NFL.
Yale University will be none the worse for wear if they are forced to pay taxes on their assets, the institution is swimming in cash, to present such staunch opposition to the idea of paying taxes that everyone else does will not endear the university to the common citizen.
Everyone stands to benefit, including Yale.
New Haven is a city, not an office building, if you own billions of dollars in property, and disseminate over a billion dollars a year, that money should be taxed and that’s it.
New Haven is in debt, the general fund has not met specific benchmarks, there is various areas that the city needs an influx of cash and this would certainly qualify.
Yale(and others) make the argument that New Haven benefits from the presence of the institution in a myriad of ways.
That’s very true, no question about it, but Yale has benefited from the partnership as well.
There is great benefit in generating billions of dollars in real estate and not paying taxes on it relatively.
It is what it is.