Connecticut governor: let’s not tax Yale’s endowment, actually

“A tax proposed by top legislators on the earnings of Yale’s sizable endowment was shot down Tuesday by the administration of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy. …The proposal – backed by Senate President Pro Tem Martin Looney and Appropriations Committee Co-chair Toni Walker, both Democrats from New Haven – [had] generated national attention.” [Connecticut Mirror] I modestly proposed that Yale consider moving in part or full to some jurisdiction that would leave its endowment alone, much as General Electric, which had been the largest corporation headquartered in Connecticut, chose recently to toddle off to Boston in search of a better climate. Ira Stoll picked up and expanded on my idea in a column reprinted in the Hartford Courant, and Florida Gov. Rick Scott promptly got into the act by inviting Yale to relocate to the Sunshine State. More: Courant editorial (“Idea Of Yale Fleeing Taxes Makes Connecticut Look Bad”) And I’m interviewed in this WTNH story.


  • I would think there is an even easier fix, just move the endowment. It is probably a seperate legal entity, and if not, can be made one I would think. Also, it has a lot less physical assets, and could go to any state the portfolio managers want to live in, including MA or NY since they dont tax nonprofits. There is no inherent reason a pool of money needs to sit in the same state as its beneficiary.

  • Connecticut won second place this year, behind New York, for highest taxed states.

    “People living in neighboring Connecticut don’t fare much better than their New York neighbors. Their tax burden is 12.6% and total taxes paid per capita were $7,869.38.”

  • Governor Scott’s pitch was obviously meant at CT businesses and not really at Yale. However, in the 1950s, the University of Chicago briefly considered relocating from their campus as the surrounding neighborhood turned into a dangerous slum. I don’t know just how serious this discussion went but eventually they chose to start acquiring properties in the neighborhood and to begin the process we now call gentrification.

  • To me, universities have become the modern day equivalent of the Church during the middle ages. They are the keepers of the intelligentsia who inform the rulers, and they are in the process of gathering wealth, just like the church did. Gentrification of surrounding neighborhoods and the accumulation of great endowments and indoctrination of young people follow the same path. They want to be the power behind the throne.

    They need to remember how this all turned out in France after the Revolution, when all the wealth of the Church was seized, and eventually even the churches themselves were taken away.

  • Why does the phrase “bill of attainder” leap to mind? Is it a crime to have lots of money in Connecticut?