Is Penn paying its fair share? Community forum this Saturday

Thursday, May 29, 2014
West Philly Local

Is the University of Pennsylvania paying its fair share?

It’s a question worth asking and it’s at the heart of the upcoming Philadelphia Area Jobs with Justice (JWJ) community forum, taking place Sat. May 31 at Monumental Baptist Church (4948 Locust Street). The forum, which begins at 3 p.m., will discuss Penn’s contributions (and lack thereof) to Philadelphia, as well as a campaign for the university to make PILOT(Payment in Lieu of Taxes) contributions—voluntary payments made to the city by nonprofit hospitals and universities, which are tax-exempt entities, that benefit city schools and services.

According to the labor and social justice coalition, while the rest of Philadelphia is grappling with employment insecurity, slashes to the city budget, cutbacks in public services, and a long-standing education crisis, Penn continues to prosper on and around its 994-acre campus. The JWJ points out, the Ivy League’s total endowment is valued at $7.74 billion as of the 2013 fiscal year, and its president, Amy Gutmann, makes over $2 million a year as of 2011—over $600,000 more than 2010—ranking her as one of the highest-paid university presidents in the country. The university’s total budget for the2014 fiscal year, though, is $6.6 billion, which consists of a $3.634 billion payroll budget including benefits.

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