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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: January 11, 2017 03:45 PM
From: Representative Angel Cruz
To: All House members
Subject: Amend the Institution of Purely Public Charity Act Relating to Certain Institutions of Higher Education.
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation amending the Institutions of Purely Public Charity Act to remove state-related universities and other institutions of higher education from the definition of an institution of purely public charity.

Currently in PA, if an institution meets certain criteria, it can be considered an “institution of purely public charity” regardless as to whether it is for or nonprofit. Further, once these requirements are met, the real property owned by such entities are exempt from all state and local taxation, as well as real estate taxation. State-related universities such as Penn State, the Pennsylvania College of Technology, Pitt, Temple and Lincoln University, along with Penn, Drexel and most, if not all, of the institutions of higher education within the Commonwealth qualify as institutions of purely public charity.

These same “charitable” institutions annually seek increased taxpayer funding through a state appropriation, report on their annual tax returns a profit or a surplus and pay their presidents six or seven figure base salaries. At the same time, these “charitable” institutions raise tuition costs and don’t contribute to the struggling tax base at the local or state level. The bottom line is that these “charitable” institutions are excelling while local basic education is struggling and municipalities and the state are running at deficits.

My legislation will address this growing inequality by requiring that state-related universities and other institutions of higher education pay their fair share in taxes and no longer put all of the tax burden on the individual citizens of Pennsylvania.

Please join me in protecting the taxpayers of this Commonwealth by closing an unintended but egregious loophole. Thank you in advance for your consideration.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact my Harrisburg office at 717-705-1925.

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Introduced as HB748