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[–] dabork 1 points 43 points (+44|-1) ago 

There are state laws specifically exempting universities from taxes.

That's it.

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[–] middle_path 0 points 10 points (+10|-0) ago 

I was hoping for something more sinister. Oh well.

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[–] dabork 0 points 17 points (+17|-0) ago 

Not this time. Most governments and the IRS just decided that since they offer education and are vital to the advancement of our society they deserve to be exempt from taxation.

That said, it only applies to non-profit (lol) universities and we might very well see a change in this policy sometime down the road if economists have their way.

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[–] Kabuthunk 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

That IS the sinister part.

Something that massive still isn't paying taxes, is it?

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[–] flimflamedthezimzam 1 points 1 points (+2|-1) ago 

Seems reasonable, if we're going to exempt churches we might as well also exempt useful organizations.

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[–] the_sovereign 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

Skull and Bones is situated in Yale

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[–] 123_456 0 points 5 points (+5|-0) ago 

There are state laws specifically exempting universities from taxes.

That's it.

Fucking ridiculous. If universities are going to operate like for profit businesses, then they should be taxed in the same way. If they want tax exemptions, then they're going to have to put a cap on the cost of attending their schools.

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[–] china_troll 5 points 0 points (+5|-5) ago 

It doesn't really answer the question. Why should universities be exempted?

In early days, the exemption was obviously just another perk for the noble class.

Today, universities are nothing but diploma mills. They are no different from Church of Scientology - you pay an arm and leg, so that you can allegedly move up a level.

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[–] flimflamedthezimzam 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

They are no different from Church of Scientology

I don't see churches making airplanes fly or putting up satellites to make your cellphone work. It's fucking amazing to see the number of anti-intellectuals here saying "ain't nobody need no fancy book learnin" just because they think Liberal Arts is the same thing as Fine Arts. Go jerk off to someone else about why it's actually ok you're uneducated.

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[–] spookybm 1 points 2 points (+3|-1) ago 

Think of it as their form of subsidizing the prices. Without the exemption, the buttfucking of tuition will apply to everyone.

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[–] Whitehot 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

I really don't consider Yale a diploma mill. However, I do agree with you in many cases of "higher" education in the U.S.

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[–] carasci 0 points 13 points (+13|-0) ago 

There's no short answer, in part because it's not that simple. Consider the case of services: Yale actually pays the city specifically for fire services and has an "in-house" police department (not rent-a-cops, actual police who handle the university area), while New Haven receives PILOT payments from the state government related to Yale's academic properties and taxes from Yale itself on its commercial properties. (I'm not entirely sure about the sanitation situation, but my guess is that there's a cashflow there as well similar to other utilities.) One important point here is that it's not just Yale; all university properties in Connecticut are tax-exempt, and while there's some debate over exactly how much Yale should be paying there's no question that the lion's share is legitimately tax-exempt. Yale may be unusually big (and particularly so compared to the surrounding town), but that doesn't really change much.

In the end, the reason that Yale doesn't pay much (relatively) in the way of taxes is that universities are considered to serve the public interest. It's a massive employer, brings huge amounts of money into the city, offers a level of prestige and relevance that New Haven wouldn't enjoy otherwise, and doesn't disproportionately consume public services. Could it do more? Probably, but it still doesn't represent a significant drain on the city's resources.

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[–] Spiral_Out [S] 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

The disparity in wealth in New Haven is one of the worst in our entire country: "New Haven #39 in Income Inequality Among US Cities" http://ctbythenumbers.info/2014/04/22/hartford-ranked-35-new-haven-39-income-inequality-among-us-cities/

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[–] carasci 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago  (edited ago)

Coming in 39 of 300 is pretty bad, but income inequality is a notoriously finicky blunt instrument when it comes to cities - moreover, it's far more useful when examining trends than situations. The real issue is more that the recession tipped over the CT job market entirely, with the universities being a unique (i.e. basically unaffected) exception that happen to also be very large. The CT economy is in many ways in dire straits, but the income inequality is mostly a red herring (contrast the Bay Area, where it's a direct issue) caused by the fact that the universities are the only part of it that isn't basically falling apart.

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[–] fluffyunbound 0 points 5 points (+5|-0) ago 

This has a long history going back deep into the common law.

Universities used to be organs of the church. Church property in Europe was exempt from state taxation.

As non-church-affiliated institutions (and other general-purpose non-education nonprofits) started to come into being, they were granted the same privilege.

The US imported the European system fairly wholesale right from the Colonial period.

It has probably outlived its usefulness. University endowments (like "rich guy" foundation endowments) have become a place to hide assets from taxation while still enjoying effective control of those assets and the ability to use them to support causes you like. I don't see why the MacArthur foundation should enjoy superior tax privileges to me while they're engaged in their "pinko conspiracy", and I'm sure leftists don't understand why the Koch brothers can set up a foundation to do the same thing.

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[–] johnlocke90 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

the ability to use them to support causes you like.

Well you can generally do that already as long as those causes are charities.

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[–] asilvermtzion 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

State law exempts some of Yale's activities from taxation, because it's an educational institution, though there are some business interests that are taxed. It depends which branch of Yale you're looking at really, and where the funding for that branch comes from, as Yale has a lot of business interests extending beyond it's position as a university. While Yale corp en mass can be rated as a $24B entity, the individual pieces within may not be party to the same funds, a lot of scientific and medical research is funded from corporate investment or federal funding, for example, rather than the Yale coffers.

Plus Yale invests time and money in New Haven, has cleaned up most of the downtown area over the last few decades (and owns a considerable amount of the commercial property there), and encourages it's staff and faculty, through financial incentives, to buy homes in the less desirable neighborhoods and thereby invest in and diversify the communities there which, it's been said, has had a hand in lowering some crime rates (though New Haven has fairly high crime rates still anyway).

Likewise, through the development of their commercial properties and facilities, and just the numbers of Yale students, staff and faculty on the ground, they attract other businesses and investors to the city who do pay taxes and likewise invest in local infrastructure.

Yale also maintains roads that run on it's property but are open to the public and provides utilities like power and free wi-fi to a chunk of the downtown New Haven area. And I believe it pays the Yale PD in entirety but Yale PD work on non-campus related case alongside New Haven PD.

In other words, Yale and New Haven have a symbiotic relationship and Yale actually invests a lot of resources while it may not necessarily do it through taxation.

I'm not a Yale evangelist, over the past 10 years they've paid me a decent amount of money for my services but caused me untold stress and bewilderment through their ridiculous coddling and bureaucratic cultures that they are somehow proud of, but they aren't a particularly malevolent institution. If anything, they're exceptionally cautious to err on the side of political correctness and to follow the letter of the law.

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[–] iusedtobeonreddit 1 points 1 points (+2|-1) ago 

i think because there a massive bunch of dicks?

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[–] RedNowGrey 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago  (edited ago)

It's the same with Duke University, in Durham, NC. It, along with the State of North Carolina, are the two biggest employers in the state. That said, the employees that live in the city DO pay taxes.

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[–] Courtjester 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

They could raise tuition or use money that was donated for scholarships. In the end, it is people who pay taxes.

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[–] SteelKidney 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

Why says they don't? They may not pay corporate income taxes, but they employ some 10,000 people, which leads to income and payroll tax. They pay property taxes, to the tune of ~4 million a year. And that's the just the mandatory stuff. The voluntary community outreach programs offer even greater economic benefit.

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