For- Profit Monroe College Sought Tax Incentives

Written By: Deprecated User

In the April 6,2013 Soundview Rising

It sounded unbelievable. A recent United States research report at George Mason University cited by John Merlin in Investor’s Business Daily (3/28/13) gave New York State low ratings on “personal freedom.” A study by Washington University found Americans are moving to more “free” Republican states that have better income growth. Theses states were more often conservative. North and South Dakota were top states for freedom, while liberal “blue” states had less “freedom” according to Merlin. There was “stronger job growth, lower unemployment and more gains in per capita income’ in conservative red states than in liberal blue states.
In the 3/29/13 issue of the New York Post, ” ‘Slaves’ of New York,” Carl Campanile clearly specifies New York is “the most indebted state.” In 2010, thirty-three percent of its income was “borrowed.” “The limits” on freedom caused 9% of residents between 2000 and 2011 to leave New York State. Can an example of this lack of freedom be found in one local government?
The only information available to the public before the public hearing of the New Rochelle Industrial Development Corporation (IDA) on March 28, 2013 was a posted notice on the proposed Monroe College Dormitory. At the meeting a public hearing was held before Monroe College Vice President David Dimond gave an explanation about the proposed 300 bed dormitory for Main Street in New Rochelle. The New Rochelle IDA would buy the property and furniture with money obtained by Monroe from a bank. Then they would lease the dormitory and its furnishings back to Monroe College. And, why was this done? According to City Manager Chuck Strome, an IDA member, it was the only way Monroe College could eliminate payments to the City for sales tax and mortgage recording tax. What is troubling here is that the public was not given any information about the dormitory before the public hearing, as is usually the case when development projects are presented.
Questions had been raised at the public hearing about whether the projected $275,000 would be reduced if Monroe did not enroll a sufficient number of students. Another question was how a decline in students’ financing by government grants could effect this dorm project? Laraine Karl was critical of the reduction of sales tax because she said New Rochelle needs sales tax revenue. She said she had seen a bus advertisement by Monroe College which cost $88,000, and felt this showed they did not need these tax incentives.
Dimond from Monroe explained the 300 bed dormitory would be used to house students who are presently living in apartments in downtown New Rochelle and nearby neighborhoods. Without these tax abatements the project “can not go forward” he said. IDA member Gordon Bell asked how the dormitories perform financially. Dimond answered “they lose money.” Their other dorm “loses money every year.” Various questions followed about how Monroe “makes money”:since it is a for profit college. Dimond finally said if the project doesn’t go forward the College “will pull back” and this would be a detriment to New Rochelle. The IDA vote was affirmative.