Florida Governor Rick Scott has offered to help Yale escape high taxes in Connecticut.
Scott released a statement on Tuesday inviting Yale to move down south to the Sunshine State, the Orlando Sentinel reports. This followed a proposal by Connecticut legislators that would impose a tax on the ivy league school’s $25.6 billion endowment. Connecticut is facing a deficit of $266 million this year with projections of a $900 million deficit next year.
“With news that the Connecticut Legislature wants to unfairly tax one of the nation’s most renowned universities to deal with the state’s budget shortfall,” Scott wrote in his statement, “it is clear that all businesses in Connecticut, including Yale, should look to move to Florida.” He promised that Florida “will not raise taxes on their endowment.”
Yale swiftly rejected Scott’s offer. A spokesperson told the Sentinel in an email, “It’s wonderful to be recognized as an outstanding asset, but Yale, New Haven, and Connecticut have been on common ground to great mutual benefit fro 300 years.” A spokesperson for Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy questioned Scott’s motives behind the offer, suggesting that it may be “more about partisan politics than anything else.”
As for the tax proposal, Malloy’s administration has rejected it. “We value Yale, the students it educates, the research and innovation it generates, and the neighborhoods it strengthens,” Malloy’s spokesperson told the CT Mirror. “We don’t believe that new taxes should be part of our solution as Connecticut adjusts to a new economic reality. Instead, we should make the spending reductions necessary for living within out means.”