The article “Tax-exempt properties add strain to city’s finances” does not tell the whole story of Yale’s proud commitment to our hometown. As part of its community investment program, Yale pays over $5 million annually in property taxes on its non-academic properties and continues to be one of the top four real estate tax payers in New Haven.

The university also makes an annual voluntary payment to the city — the largest voluntary payment by any university in the United States to any single municipality — which will be approximately $12 million for 2019. This past year, the university increased its voluntary payment to the city by $2.5 million. These incremental funds are immediately available for the city’s use in advance of Yale converting some of its property from commercial to academic use. Since 1990, Yale has provided over $136 million in voluntary payments to the city.

But supporting the city’s tax base and making voluntary payments are only a slice of the positive economic and social impact that Yale has on New Haven. The University also devotes significant resources to boosting education, creating jobs and providing services to our New Haven neighbors. Through our outreach programs, over 1,700 New Haven students participate annually in free educational programing at Yale. As a co-founder and principal funder of New Haven Promise, Yale provides up to $4 million a year in college scholarships to New Haven Public School students and paid internships over the summer.

The University is New Haven’s largest employer with nearly 14,000 faculty and staff. About one-third of our employees are New Haven residents, and we continue to focus on hiring locally through our New Haven Hiring Initiative. Yale’s homebuyer program strengthens the tax base by encouraging staff and faculty to live locally by providing financial incentives to employees to support their purchase of New Haven homes. And through free programming such as the HAVEN Free Clinic, Yale’s Music in Schools Initiative and support of New Haven Reads and New Haven Works, just to name a few examples, Yale’s role in supporting New Haven can be seen and felt throughout the city.

We look forward to continuing the partnerships with New Haven that have fueled progress in our community and enriched the lives of so many.

Lauren Zucker is Yale’s Associate Vice President for New Haven Affairs and University Properties. Contact her at lauren.zucker@yale.edu.