Friday, October 12, 2018
Wall Street Journal, Massachusetts Gubernatorial Candidate Wants to Tax the Ivory Tower:
Massachusetts is home to some of the best colleges and universities in the world—and some of the worst traffic jams.
A Democratic gubernatorial candidate is betting residents of the Bay State will be willing to tax the former to alleviate the latter.
Jay Gonzalez is building his long-shot campaign around a levy on the endowments of nine private schools that would create revenue to invest in public transportation and relieve Boston-area congestion, among other things. Boston drivers spend 14% of their time driving in congestion, the worst of any U.S. city, according to the INRIX, a transportation analytics company.
The 1.6% annual tax, which would be levied only on private, nonprofit schools with endowments that exceed $1 billion, would generate nearly $1 billion, including $563 million from Harvard University and $210 million from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
“I think it’s fair to ask the wealthiest among us—including major institutions that have accumulated enormous wealth in part thanks to their exemption from taxation—to contribute to our greater community,” Mr. Gonzalez said.