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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: February 16, 2022 10:13 AM
From: Representative Angel Cruz
To: All House members
Subject: Institutions of Higher Education under the Purely Public Charity Act 
Throughout Pennsylvania and across the nation, it is not unusual to find thriving colleges and universities located within and near struggling neighborhoods and school districts. Why the disparity? State-related universities, along with many other institutions of higher education within the Commonwealth, qualify as institutions of purely public charity and thus do not have to pay taxes to their communities. TIME magazine reports that higher education can "use the nonprofit tax exemption as a tax shelter for profitable research and private investor" with minimal direct financial benefit to its surrounding community.  


Despite the tax benefits afforded to nonprofit higher education, many of these institutions annually seek increased taxpayer funding while reporting a profit or a surplus on their annual tax returns and paying their presidents six or seven-figure base salaries. The burden of taxpayer-funded municipal services is placed unfairly on individual citizens – services that these institutions also benefit from. My legislation will address this growing inequality by subjecting the property of state-related universities and institutions of higher education to Pennsylvania laws relating to the assessment, taxation, and exemption of real estate. Under this bill, the property owned or used by these institutions will no longer be exempt from state and local taxes.  


Please join me in supporting this legislation to close this egregious loophole and ensure institutions of higher education pay their fair share. 

Introduced as HB2475