The New York Times today reports on efforts by cities around the country to raise more revenue by pushing for payments from big non-profits — mainly universities and hospitals.

The story notes that Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel in Chicago wants to start charging non-profits for water service — something Evanston already does.

And it notes that in Princeton, New Jersey, where Princeton University contributes $1.8 million in voluntary payments to the borough and township, efforts by local officials to block some university expansion projects have brought threats from the school to “rethink” whether it will continue the contributions.

A study last year by the Lincoln Instute of Land Policy in Cambridge, Mass., found that at least 117 communities in 18 states have some form of payment in lieu of taxes programs with non-profits.

Original story

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Tax all non-profits equally

    I am all in favor of taxing the non-profits (NU has close to a $6 Billion, with a "B", endowment) and I am sure Evanston Hospital can also afford the property taxes with all of our collective insurance proceeds.  But, it shouldn't stop there.  To be fair, we need to tax ALL so-called "religious" institutions.  I am in favor of religious freedom – but they should pay for services (fire/police, street repairs, street lights, etc.) just like any other property.  There is no logical reason to give them such a tax break.  It is not fair to the other properties that have to pick up the tab.

    For a county that claims "separation of church and state", we just don't have that separation if we continue to subsidize churches and other religious property.  It is a sham and won't likely change due to conservatives that don't see this as a violation of church and state.


    1. Agreed–tax the churches too

      I agree with this 100 percent. Believe in whomever or whatever you want, but you should still pay for the land you're using like any other organization. Universities and hospitals at least provide a tangible community benefit.

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