Philadelphia is in crisis. Our schools are broke. The city can't afford to plow all our streets. Budget cuts are still forcing fire station blackouts. Many of our public sector workers have been without a contract for years.
Meanwhile, U. Penn is thriving. The University of Pennsylvania has an endowment of $7.7 billion. Its president, Amy Gutman, makes over $2 million each year. U. Penn owns 992 acres of prime real estate. It uses our firefighters, our police, our sewers and our streets… but doesn't have to pay property taxes.
U. Penn owns the most nonprofit property of any university in any major city, but most of its properties are tax exempt. Along with Columbia, it is one of the only two Ivy League universities that still refuse to pay PILOT (payments in lieu of taxes) payments--small but meaningful annual contributions to their parent city. #UPennFairShare is an economic justice campaign that calls on U. Penn to make payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTs) in order to help support critically underfunded public schools and essential services. We are calling on President Gutmann and the leadership at U. Penn to commit annual PILOT payments of $6.6 million-—0.1% of their annual budget-—to the city.
Starting in January 2014, residents, community groups, workers, and students have been organizing, hoping U. Penn will lead on PILOTs. Want to join us? Sign the petition!