Stop letting chaos-enabling Columbia and NYU off the hook for property taxes

As police in riot gear clash with anti-Israel student protesters who are causing mayhem and destroying property on campuses across the city, a question arises: Do Columbia and NYU deserve to be exempt from property taxes?

The two universities saved a combined $327 million last year alone, thanks to a centuries-old law that exempts universities and other nonprofits from paying property taxes.

But as they scoop up ever more real estate in the city (Columbia is New York City’s largest private landowner, and NYU’s not far behind), while campus leaders let their students run wild, the case for continuing to let them off the hook is looking pretty thin.

In December, Assembly lawmakers introduced a bill to axe the exemption for universities that save more than $100 million a year (meaning only Columbia and NYU would get hit) and use the money to fund the City University of New York.

Bill sponsor Assemblyman Zohran Mamdani said: “This bill seeks to address universities that have so blatantly gone beyond primarily operating as institutions of higher education and are instead acting as landlords and developers.”

As a lefty, Mamdani’s motive may be more “loving taxes” than anything else, but he has a point: Columbia and NYU have been operating as more than “institutions of higher education” for decades.

Not only because their tax-exempt status has allowed them to amass jaw-dropping real-estate portfolios, and to hire ever-more administrators who really have nothing to do with education.

Indeed, a modern university president’s work is almost exclusively centered on fundraising: That’s one reason so many of them have no idea how to handle rampaging students.

Not to mention how these schools have prioritized DEI-driven leftist indoctrination over actual education.

In defense of the tax-exempt perks, the schools argue that they spend plenty in the surrounding communities, and even pay a bit of danegeld in the name of “local economic development” (though that cash inevitably rewards the politically connected).

And, yes, New York City’s economy benefits because the presence of recent high-end graduates attracts potential employers — but with DEI now compromising even scientific and (especially) medical education, that advantage is evaporating.

Fact is, these schools’ ability to attract the most promising students is now in question: By failing to wrangle their radicalized students as they wreak havoc on and near their campuses, letting campus life grind to a screeching halt, they’re pushing every parent to question if they’re worth the $90,000 a year list price.

Not to mention what they’re costing the taxpayers when they finally ask the NYPD to restore order.

The only thing NYU and Columbia are contributing to New York City right now is chaos.

Ending or even limiting the exemptions involves amending the state Constitution, a two-year process, if not more; at the least, the Legislature should be talking seriously about getting that ball rolling.

Someone needs to push them to start cleaning up their acts, and stop bringing shame to New York City.

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