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Miner calls on Upstate Medical to pay City of Syracuse for services

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner has written a letter to SUNY Upstate Medical University and the SUNY administration seeking a service agreement with the City of Syracuse, saying the school benefits from City services but doesn’t pay property taxes. Miner on April 7 stood at the podium at Syracuse City Hall announcing a new service agreement between the city and Syracuse University. Kent Syverud, Syracuse University chancellor, (left) also commented on the new service agreement in which the school will provide the city $7 million over the next five fiscal years. (Eric Reinhardt / BJNN file photo)

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner is publicly calling on SUNY Upstate Medical University to forge an agreement with the City of Syracuse in which it would pay the city for the services it receives.

Miner has sent a letter to the leadership of Upstate Medical and the SUNY administration urging the medical school to sign such an agreement.

Upstate Medical has received the letter and “will be reviewing it,” Darryl Geddes, director of public and media relations at Upstate Medical University, said in an email response to a BJNN inquiry on the matter.

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The nonprofit health-care and educational institution pays no taxes on its property in the City of Syracuse, which is assessed at more than $222 million, Miner’s office said in a news release issued Tuesday.

Upstate Medical reported a profit of $120 million in 2015 and the Upstate Foundation, Inc., its philanthropic arm, has a fund balance of $89.1 million, Miner’s office noted.

“SUNY Upstate enjoys the benefits of expensive city services, including police and fire protection, road maintenance, and snow removal but pays nothing in taxes. This leaves the rest of Syracuse residents, some of whom live in extreme poverty, to subsidize the operations of this successful institution,” Miner contended in the release.

And Miner ended the letter with the following paragraph.

“I believe that the futures of the institutions we represent are inextricably entwined and I hope that you, the leaders of SUNY Upstate Medical University, its Foundation, and SUNY administration, give serious consideration to entering into a service agreement with the City of Syracuse. Fairness demands it,” Miner wrote.

Miner has worked with other large nonprofits in Syracuse to enact service agreements.

Most recently, she announced a five-year agreement with Syracuse University which resulted in $4.5 million to fund the city’s general services over five years and $2.5 million to support neighborhood organizations.

That agreement extended the original deal signed in 2011.

Miner had also previously announced a service agreement with Crouse Hospital, which resulted in four annual payments of $50,000 to city government.

Contact Reinhardt at ereinhardt@cnybj.com

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