Providence Mayor Wants to Tax Private College Students

May 4, 2009

The mayor and some city council members in Providence are floating a proposal to tax students at private colleges $150 each per semester, The Providence Journal reported. The city is facing a large budget deficit. Like local lawmakers elsewhere who urge private colleges to make payments in lieu of property taxes from which they are exempt as nonprofit, Providence officials argue that private college students add to city costs. Students and private colleges leaders are opposing the idea, arguing that students actually add to the local economy. In addition, some note that there are private college students who already own property in the city or whose families do -- and who thus may be subject to double taxation under the plan.

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