Testifying to the Board of Alderman

Today, I testified before Somerville’s Board of Alderman (aka city councilors) about Tufts University’s negotiations with the City of Somerville over their payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT). Yes, the school should pay its fair share of taxes for the land that it owns, despite the fact that it’s a non-profit. More importantly, I pointed out, the process of negotiation is an opportunity to align the university’s and the city’s vision and values. Right now, differences in, for example, emissions reductions targets create perverse outcomes. Case in point is Tufts firing up a new natural gas power plant in 2016, which runs counter to the City’s goals to become carbon neutral by 2050.

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