Wary of tax increases, weary of layoffs and determined to avoid bankruptcy, Providence Mayor Angel Taveras had only to gaze up at his city’s Ivy League campus to see a way out of the morass.
On College Hill sits Brown University, with a $2.5 billion endowment and property worth an estimated $1 billion. Brown would pay the city $38 million in property taxes each year — more than enough to solve the city’s budget problems — if only it wasn’t tax exempt.
And so city officials and state lawmakers applied some pressure to the university, and last week Brown agreed to contribute $31.5 million to Providence over the next 11 years. The money comes on top of nearly $4 million that Brown already voluntarily gives the city every year.…Read More