Yale makes its long-anticipated announcement of an increase in its contribution in lieu of taxes to the city:
University and city leaders gathered yesterday in East Rock Park — property donated to the city by Yale over a century ago — to announce that Yale will raise its annual voluntary contribution to the city, giving New Haven an additional $1.8 million this year. This payment will be on top of the $2.3 million the University currently gives voluntarily for fire services, bringing Yale’s contribution for this fiscal year to nearly $4.2 million. New Haven has struggled with fiscal shortfalls its leaders have attributed in part to the city’s large number of tax-exempt nonprofit institutions, of which Yale is the largest. “Yale has been part of this community for three centuries, and today’s agreement, while being a landmark agreement, is nonetheless a reflection of a long tradition of contributions to our hometown,” Yale President Richard Levin said at the press conference. “There are lots of ways that Yale contributes to the vitality of the city, and one important way is to help the city enjoy fiscal stability so that it can provide the necessary services to its citizens.” The new payment — calculated as the sum of the number of dormitory beds and full-time employees at the University multiplied by $250 — is tied to inflation and will also increase if the University expands its student population or labor force. The Hospital of St. Raphael, the Community Foundation of Greater New Haven and Casey Family Services also announced financial contributions totaling nearly $200,000 for this year. The mayor’s office is currently negotiating with Yale-New Haven Hospital about making a similar contribution, and the city will also ask for support from other nonprofits, like Albertus Magnus College.
Given that when the Fair Share Coalition formed a year ago to push for progress on this issue we were told it would be unnecessary and unfeasible, this represents sreal progress and demonstrates the importance of ongoing pressure. Yale still has much, much more to do to fashion a more progressive partnership with the city, including a Community Benefits Agreement between the Hill neighborhood and the Hospital which ensures that everyone with a stake in the result has a seat at the table.