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Is Penn Being Cheap?


Holly Otterbein over at Philly.com certainly thinks so. In an article today, Otterbein challenges Penn and other Philadelphia nonprofits to step up and channel a portion of their funds back into the city. Back in the '90s, you see, Penn was part of the PILOT program ("payments in lieu of taxes"), in which the city conferred nonprofit statuses on over 40 organizations if they agreed to fork over a portion of what they would owe in property taxes.

Fast-forward a few years, and the $9 million the city used to receive from the PILOTs has dwindled to less than $400,000– and Penn no longer contributes anything. Huh. What gives?

While Otterbein points out that Penn offers Philadelphia certain services for free (like police support), it takes advantage of the city's fire, water, and trash collection departments, among others. Is Penn Philly's biggest moocher or not?