Colleges and Cities Square Off Over Tax Demands

Colleges and Cities Square Off Over Taxes on Students, Payments for Services 1

Jim Rogash, Getty Images for (RED)

To deal with a budget shortfall, Mayor David N. Cicilline, of Providence, R.I., is trying to persuade four local colleges to increase the amount they voluntarily pay to the city.

Colleges have long promoted the economic boon that their campuses represent to surrounding communities, attracting faculty members as residents and supplying a constant stream of retail consumers in students, parents, and alumni.

But some municipalities, struggling to fill budget shortfalls, no longer believe that those benefits are enough for their towns and cities. Some institutions do make payments in lieu of the taxes on the property they use for educational purposes, but a number