The Boston area is already well known for its top colleges, so wouldn’t it make sense for another Ivy League to uproot its hallowed halls and move them here?
That’s (part of) an argument writer Ira Stoll, editor of FutureOfCapitalism.com, makes in a column reprinted in the Hartford Courant. (The column was originally printed in the New York Sun). Though the New Haven institution has made no plans to move, a proposed tax has sparked discussion over whether, and where, it should.
— Walter Olson (@walterolson) March 29, 2016
Connecticut legislators are considering a bill that would tax Yale’s large university endowment. Yale would be the only institution targeted by this tax, according to the Courant.
This isn’t the first time Connecticut has pushed an institution toward leaving the state over taxes. GE fled after its taxes were raised five times in five years, according to the Courant. That company ended up in Boston, but there was a bit of a fight to claim them, as well. Florida tried to entice GE, and now Florida Governor Rick Scott has already started courting Yale, promising that he wouldn’t impose any taxes if they relocated to the Sunshine State, according to the Associated Press.
Boston officials haven’t made any offers, but Stoll does aim to make some compelling points in his column on the city’s behalf, besides the fact that Yale could follow in GE’s footsteps.
For starters, the commute to get to the annual Harvard-Yale football game “would be dramatically shortened,” Stoll writes. Plus, Yale students currently enroll in a Harvard introductory computer class taught via video link. With both institutions in the same city, Yale students could attend the Harvard class in person.
Another factor Stoll notes: major league sports teams. No major league teams have called the state of Connecticut home since the Hartford Whalers moved to North Carolina in 1997.
And finally, the move would be a way to revisit history, Stoll writes:
“GE’s new Boston headquarters will be a stone’s throw from the Boston Tea Party museum, two replica ships that sit on a harbor wharf as a reminder of where the great American Revolution against unjust taxation began. If Yale were to move nearby, there would be a certain symbolic resonance to the whole thing.”
Who knew “Taxachusetts” could be seen as a haven to escape excessive taxation?