NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The City of New Haven is looking down the road to financial trouble as it faces a $13 million deficit. Mayor Justin Elicker is now calling on Yale University to contribute more to the city it calls home.
Mayor Elicker said the $200 million profit the Ivy League school generated proves the school is in a financial position to contribute more to the city that faces more cuts and an inability to pay for future key city services.
He said the city is struggling on all fronts, from schools to public safety and housing issues for New Haven residents.
“We’re in very challenging financial times right now,” Mayor Elicker told News 8’s Shaynah Ferreira on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, according to the city, about 60% of all New Haven properties are non-taxable, forcing Elicker’s administration to raise taxes in the city. The mayor said Yale has an ethical responsibility to contribute more than the $14 million it already does. He’s calling on the university to give $50 million instead.
But the university maintains it pays more than its fair share already.
A representative with Yale told News 8 the university faced a $250 million loss due to costs associated with the pandemic and adds the $200 million surplus will be a buffer for the uncertain financial future.
They said, in part, “Yale spends over $700 million annually directly on New Haven. This includes compensation to New Haven residents who work at the university and many programs and initiatives that we support throughout the city.”
Mayor Elicker said, “Now, the university will say that it does a lot for New Haven, and it’s important to acknowledge the contributions the university makes, but I see this as a billionaire donating $100,000 to a soup kitchen and not paying $100 million in taxes.”
He went on to say, “So many communities are struggling and Yale posts that kind of profit, it’s so vitally important and they have an ethical responsibility to invest in the city that it calls home…We can’t cut off much more. We’ve seen the results of when we cut this year. It’s in the university’s own self-interest that New Haven is a place where people can thrive.”
Mayor Elicker said he is in an active conversation with Yale about this issue and hopes more can be done to help the city thrive through uncertain times.