Connecticut College is the third largest employer in New London, with 875 employees. More than 20 percent of employees live in New London. More examples of its economic impact:
- The College spends $30 million a year on goods and services, including many local vendors. Spending by 1,900 students also supports the local economy.
- Events on campus, such as the Connecticut Early Music Festival, the BANFF Film Festival, the Clamshell Quilt Guild Show and the Connecticut Storytelling Festival, draw more than 100,000 visitors annually.
- Over the past five years, the College has invested more than $70 million in campus facilities, including construction of an $8 million fitness center, a $25 million science center, the $1 million Zachs Hillel House and a $9.875 million library renovation.
- Approximately 7,500 prospective students and family members visit campus each year, staying in local hotels and eating at local restaurants.
- In 2007, the College made a commitment to contribute $100,000 to the city of New London, payable over 10 years.
- Many staff and faculty serve on boards of local nonprofits, providing expertise and financial support to New London organizations and to the broader local community.
- For the year ending June 30, 2013, New London was scheduled to receive $2.2 million in payments from the state of Connecticut to compensate for the College’s tax-exempt status. (See “Payments in Lieu of Taxes” below.)
Payments In Lieu of Taxes
As a private, nonprofit, higher-education institution, Connecticut College is exempt from local property taxes under state law. The law is based on the premise that the education and services provided by the College are an important benefit to the public. With the exemption, the state acknowledges and supports the mission of the College. The exemption implicitly recognizes that if the College were to pay taxes, it would divert funds from its educational mission.
Currently, the state of Connecticut reimburses New London for a percentage of the taxes that the College would pay if it were a for-profit business. The reimbursement recognizes that the cultural, educational and economic benefits of the College extend beyond New London’s borders and that, therefore, the financial costs should be shared. Reimbursement is made through the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) program and through the Pequot Fund. For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2013, the City received more than $5 million through these two funds, of which $2.2 million was attributed to Connecticut College.