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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: January 3, 2019 01:46 PM
From: Representative Angel Cruz
To: All House members
Subject: Institutions of Higher Education under the Purely Public Charity Act
Under current law, the Purely Public Charity Act, any institution which meets certain criteria can be considered an “institution of purely public charity” regardless of whether it is for- or non-profit. 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 other institutions of higher education within the Commonwealth qualify as institutions of purely public charity.

Many of these 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. These “charitable” institutions raise tuition costs while failing to contribute to the struggling tax base at the local and state level. The bottom line is that these institutions are excelling financially 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.

If you agree that we can no longer put all of the tax burden on the individual citizens of Pennsylvania, please join me in protecting taxpayers 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.

Introduced as HB191