Thursday, September 19, 2013

Poor Bowdoin College; lucky for them, they’re a ‘non-profit,’ and exempt from taxes….

We thought you might enjoy a couple of recent news items related to our very own exemplar of Ivory Tower elites.


The first is this in the Portland paper.  As you will see, our beloved College in the Pines has an endowment fund of more than $1 Billion, and appears to have earned in the neighborhood of $150 million on it in the fiscal year just passed.  As we’ve written before, this seems to be at odds with the ‘occupy’ and anti-capitalism sensibilities so prevalent on the campus.

For a sense of scale, the town’s total property valuation is in the $1.4 billion range, so the college’s endowment is nearing equity with the total value of the town.  Throw in the college’s real property value, and we think Bowdoin’s net worth is more than the entire town.

If you like, and we wish you would, you can reread this prior offering, which speaks of ‘fair share’ and other shibboleths of the “anti-capitalist oppressor” mind set found in the bastions of liberal, social justice driven institutions.   We needn’t point out that such mantras  are usually meant to apply to others, rather than those who hold them dear and preach them at every opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to a coercive utopia.

Second, we think you’ll find this item in the Bowdoin Orient equally informative. 

It includes this passage:

For the 2013-2014 school year, the College devoted $32.5 million to financial aid, which 46.4 percent of the Class of 2017 received. The average financial aid grant is $36,600, and no aid packages included loans.

All we can say is it’s a good thing Bowdoin isn’t required to pay taxes, because if they did, how could they afford new ice rinks, and $25 million upgrades to their art museum, and other basics of educating the young and downtrodden? 

We suspect that if they were required to pay their ‘fair share’ of town property taxes, based on asset value, they’d probably have a tax bill in the range of $10 million, which would make a pretty good dent in the $38 million or so the town will collect in taxes in the coming  year.  It might even reduce property taxes on the rest of us by 25% or so. 

But you know what?  Either way, this is a pipe dream.  Because if the college did pay $10 million or so, town ruling elites would just see it as a windfall meant to be spent, just like everything else they can get their paws on.

Besides, as we’ve been told before, ‘without Bowdoin, Brunswick is nothing.’  And the college contributes to the town in so many other ways.

But maybe, just maybe, couldn’t the Bowdoin Development Corporation have been formed to give a $247,000 grant to Brunswick Taxi?  In return, the recipient could provide free transportation from the campus to nearby hospitals for those who injure themselves cutting up fruit, and in assorted other catastrophes.  Besides, we seem to recall that the demand from Bowdoin was one of the justifications for needing new vehicles.

This seems a small price to pay in return for how many acres on the base property, free gratis? 

Come to think of it, why does Other Side have to pay property taxes?  We contribute to the town in so many other ways.  One of these days, we think we’ll do a side by side comparison of the pluses and minuses on a per capita basis, to see if we should be given the same consideration as the Ivory Tower.


  1. Bowdoin does pay taxes. Plus unrestricted cash to the town. Facts don't matter to you, because it would make your rants less interesting. Brunswick's own Rushbo. Old fat white guy.

  2. Have your way with me.

    And when you're done, please explain what "unrestricted cash" is. Our property taxes are 'unrestricted;' so what.

    So I'm an 'old fat white guy.' Facts are facts, pilgrim.

    Your rants are without merit until you do far better than this.

    Try to cut down on the Kool-Aid you drink.

    And thanks for proving the point we wanted to make.

  3. Don't forget the illustrious faculty that see to it they get raises every year for doing exactly what they did the year before. The real suckers in this are the alumni who keep feeding this gluttony voluntarily.

  4. DGiles - Here is a link to the FY 2012 Bowdoin financial statements. Please show me the line item or explanatory note that outlines the property tax Bowdoin pays to the town.

    1. So, assuming my previous post gets approved, Davey, what say you now?

      Can you say Bowdoin pays more taxes than you do? Yes, you can.

    2. DGiles - That is your comeback? Really? Those properties listed on the tax page are simply the handful of formerly residential properties Bowdoin has purchased over the past 15-20 years and converted to campus buildings. That doesn't even cover 5% of the total campus buildings and land holdings. The total tax bill doesn't even exceed $200,000 when they conservatively have $100 million in property on campus! Where is the tax payment on Watson arena, Coles Tower, a single academic building??? Shouldn't Bowdoin be required to pay its "fair share" considering their $1 BILLION in investments and $100 million in property alone? Now I know you obviously aren't very bright considering you are a typical far left leaning Dem but even your two little brain cells should be able to comprehend that $200,000 is not even close a "fair share" of property taxes considering Bowdoin's total assets.

      To answer your second question, yes of course Bowdoin pays more in taxes then I do. I am a citizen and they are a business. It's not an apples to apples comparison. However after looking at your property tax bill and comparing one citizen to another, I can definitely say I pay more in property tax then you do. Much more actually. From your property value it looks like you live in a pretty cruddy house in a really cruddy location. No wonder you have such an obvious case of class envy.

  5. Check out the Town of Brunswick web page, go to the Finance page, go to tax committment page and search for Bowdoin. This blog won't paste it well, but for the lazy old fat white guy(s), here is the data.

    U17‐095‐000‐000 01311458 BOWDOIN COLLEGE C/O TREASURERS OFFICE 7 BOODY ST 123,500 625,300 0 748,800 9,936.58 9,936.57 19,873.15
    U08‐100‐000‐002 01311389 BOWDOIN COLLEGE C/O TREASURERS OFFICE 8 CLEAVELAND ST 0 120,100 0 120,100 1,593.73 1,593.72 3,187.45
    U12‐021‐000‐002 01311438 BOWDOIN COLLEGE C/O TREASURERS OFFICE 10 SOUTH ST 0 69,400 0 69,400 920.94 920.94 1,841.88
    U09‐056‐000‐000 01311420 BOWDOIN COLLEGE C/O TREASURERS OFFICE 13 COFFIN ST 60,100 49,400 0 109,500 1,453.07 1,453.06 2,906.13
    U09‐057‐000‐002 01311422 BOWDOIN COLLEGE C/O TREASURERS OFFICE 15 COFFIN ST 0 40,700 0 40,700 540.09 540.09 1,080.18
    U08‐097‐000‐002 01311385 BOWDOIN COLLEGE C/O TREASURERS OFFICE 16 CLEAVELAND ST 0 93,100 0 93,100 1,235.44 1,235.43 2,470.87
    U08‐096‐000‐002 01311383 BOWDOIN COLLEGE C/O TREASURERS OFFICE 18 CLEAVELAND ST 0 73,600 0 73,600 976.67 976.67 1,953.34
    U08‐095‐000‐000 01311381 BOWDOIN COLLEGE C/O TREASURERS OFFICE 22 CLEAVELAND ST 77,400 113,500 0 190,900 2,533.25 2,533.24 5,066.49
    U09‐028‐000‐002 01311404 BOWDOIN COLLEGE C/O TREASURERS OFFICE 25 COFFIN ST 0 171,600 0 171,600 2,277.13 2,277.13 4,554.26
    U12‐035‐00A‐002 01311444 BOWDOIN COLLEGE C/O TREASURERS OFFICE 30 LONGFELLOW AVE 0 101,100 0 101,100 1,341.60 1,341.59 2,683.19
    U09‐029‐000‐002 01311406 BOWDOIN COLLEGE C/O TREASURERS OFFICE 31 LONGFELLOW AVE 0 102,400 0 102,400 1,358.85 1,358.85 2,717.70
    U09‐027‐000‐002 01311402 BOWDOIN COLLEGE C/O TREASURERS OFFICE 32 LONGFELLOW AVE 0 202,300 0 202,300 2,684.52 2,684.52 5,369.04
    U09‐032‐000‐002 01311408 BOWDOIN COLLEGE C/O TREASURERS OFFICE 37 LONGFELLOW AVE 0 64,100 0 64,100 850.61 850.60 1,701.21
    U09‐046‐000‐000 01311413 BOWDOIN COLLEGE C/O TREASURERS OFFICE 40 HARPSWELL RD 48,500 0 0 48,500 643.60 643.59 1,287.19
    U09‐022‐000‐002 01311399 BOWDOIN COLLEGE C/O TREASURERS OFFICE 42 LONGFELLOW AVE 0 66,400 0 66,400 881.13 881.13 1,762.26
    U09‐044‐000‐002 01311412 BOWDOIN COLLEGE C/O TREASURERS OFFICE 42 HARPSWELL RD 0 88,500 0 88,500 1,174.40 1,174.39 2,348.79
    U09‐043‐000‐002 01311410 BOWDOIN COLLEGE C/O TREASURERS OFFICE 44 HARPSWELL RD 0 156,600 0 156,600 2,078.08 2,078.08 4,156.16
    U08‐084‐000‐000 01311372 BOWDOIN COLLEGE C/O TREASURERS OFFICE 63 FEDERAL ST 228,000 1,426,000 0 1,654,000 21,948.58 21,948.58 43,897.16
    U09‐018‐000‐002 01311397 BOWDOIN COLLEGE C/O TREASURERS OFFICE 66 HARPSWELL RD 0 142,300 0 142,300 1,888.32 1,888.32 3,776.64
    U08‐088‐000‐002 01311374 BOWDOIN COLLEGE C/O TREASURERS OFFICE 75 FEDERAL ST 0 275,900 0 275,900 3,661.20 3,661.19 7,322.39
    U08‐089‐000‐000 01311375 BOWDOIN COLLEGE C/O TREASURERS OFFICE 79 FEDERAL ST 180,000 339,000 0 519,000 6,887.13 6,887.13 13,774.26
    U16‐041‐000‐000 01311448 BOWDOIN COLLEGE C/O TREASURERS OFFICE 218 MAINE ST 28,500 0 0 28,500 378.20 378.19 756.39
    U17‐018‐000‐002 01311452 BOWDOIN COLLEGE C/O TREASURERS OFFICE 234 MAINE ST 0 131,400 0 131,400 1,743.68 1,743.68 3,487.36
    U12‐025‐000‐002 01311440 BOWDOIN COLLEGE C/O TREASURERS OFFICE 271 MAINE ST 0 87,100 0 87,100 1,155.82 1,155.81 2,311.63
    U12‐048‐000‐000 01311445 BOWDOIN COLLEGE C/O TREASURERS OFFICE 279 MAINE ST 432,000 2,109,300 0 2,541,300 33,723.05 33,723.05 67,446.10

  6. Well, at least we now know that DGiles is an ageist, a racist, and a weightist, not to mention a truthist.

    And that he can't abide any views contrary to his own.

    What a guy; what a town. We're confident D earned his ad hominem chops under the finest tutelage. Perhaps at Bowdoin, from the sound of things.

    As a now departed acquaintance said to me, "Brunswick-a town gone wild."

  7. So c'mon, Mr. Ageist, Racist, Weightist: can you total it all up for us, and compare it to the $10 million or more they'd owe in a world where social and economic justice were the rule?

    You know us; we can't add, so we need your expert help.