They apologize. . . sort of

Alex Beam writes today about A/B university expansion and this recently published report from H.U.

They apologize for their schools' problems . . . sort of - The Boston Globe

"What was that ridiculous Harvard study claiming that the World's Greatest University pumps $5 billion into the local economy all about? Dodging taxes, mainly. "We all release those studies just before we are about to launch a major expansion," an executive at another local university explained to me. "If it looks as if you have money to build, then Boston and Cambridge figure they can raise your PILOT - 'payments in lieu of taxes' - payments when you ask for the building permits." As the Globe reported, Mayor Menino and the City Council have been yapping about squeezing more money out of the city's nonprofits, meaning the universities and hospitals.

But that's all moot now. Boston University, MIT, Northeastern University, Children's Hospital, and others have announced cutbacks on new projects. "We have the money to finish what we've started," my man says, "but all the big projects - Boston College in Brighton, Harvard in Allston - are going to be stalled. We can't raise money on favorable terms. The Harvard study was a preemptive shot fired in a war that's over, for now.""

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