As the Tufts PILOT agreement is about to expire, Medford and Somerville activists are jointly campaigning for a better deal for all residents

Our Revolution affiliates in Medford and Somerville have joined forces to demand more Payment In Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) from Tufts University.

“This is the first time Medford and Somerville residents have cooperated in a joint effort to get Tufts to pay its fair share and provide more community benefits,” says Susan Eldridge of Our Revolution Somerville.

If Tufts were a for-profit business, the university would be required to pay $6,700,500 and $3,945,360 in real estate taxes to Somerville and Medford, respectively. But as a non-profit institution, Tufts does not have to pay real estate taxes. In 2013, Tufts University agreed to a five-year deal to make annual payments to both Medford and Somerville of just $275,000.

“Now that it’s 2018, we can urge both cities to negotiate a bigger payment that benefits all residents — not just the university,” said Rand Wilson, also of Our Revolution Somerville. “Tufts pays $575,000 to Boston in PILOT payments — 25% of what they would otherwise owe. So why are we only getting 4%? Tufts reaps such a huge benefit from our infrastructure and location near Boston –it’s time for it to do more for our communities.”

From 9am–12pm on Saturday, March 24th, the groups will be meeting to begin building a campaign to demand a better deal with Tufts. Anyone who wants the same is encouraged to attend. The groups will be meeting at West Somerville Neighborhood School at 177 Powder House Blvd. To RSVP or get more information, email rand.wilson@gmail.com or check out the Facebook event.

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