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May 02, 2012

Brown U. and Providence Strike a Deal on Municipal Payments

Capping a closely watched dispute over colleges tax exemptions, Brown University has agreed to nearly double its payments in lieu of property taxes to its hometown of Providence, R.I., according to Reuters and The Wall Street Journal.

The Ivy League school, which had been supplying $4-million a year to the city to defray the cost of public services, agreed to pay an additional $3.9-million for each of the next five years. Brown will pay an extra $2-million from 2017 through 2022, bringing the full value of the deal to $31.5-million over 11 years.

Providence Mayor Angel Taveras warned earlier this year that the city faced bankruptcy unless it took drastic steps to close a $22.5-million budget gap, including boosting payments from major tax-exempt institutions. On Monday the city announced a three-year, $2.4-million pact with nonprofit hospital chain Lifespan.

The deal with Brown, which owns more than $1-billion of property in Providence and has a $2.5-billion endowment, marks a "renewal of our shared willingness to work together to make both Brown and Providence successful," Mr. Taveras said.