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Many Rich University Presidents Don’t Pay Taxes

While many wealthy university presidents favor high taxes, many of them don’t pay taxes on their own income. According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, half of the nation’s 50 highest-paid college presidents had their taxes paid for them by the universities they lead.

As a group, university presidents are are generally outspoken advocates of tax-and-spend, big-government liberalism. That’s not surprising in light of the liberal bent of academia, as well as the fact that most large universities survive on tens or even hundreds of millions of government grants and federal aid dollars.

They want you to pay high taxes so that the government can pass the money to their institutions. But they don’t pay taxes out of their own pockets, despite their huge salaries.

Among the 50 highest-paid private-college presidents in 2010, half led institutions that provided top executives with cash to cover taxes on bonuses and other benefits, a Chronicle analysis has found. This practice, known as “grossing up,” has fallen out of fashion at many publicly traded companies, where boards have decided the perk is simply not worth the shareholder outrage it can invite.

“Those arrangements became radioactive over the last 10 years,” said Mark A. Borges, an expert on executive pay and a principal at Compensia, a consulting company.

Regardless of the amount of money involved, people typically recoil when they learn that an organization’s wealthiest employees are given help covering taxes, Mr. Borges said. In the throes of a national debate about tax fairness, those kinds of payments reinforce the perception that the well-off play by a different set of rules. They also point toward the significant bargaining power that presidents have in contract negotiations.

“The whole issue of paying people’s taxes on their behalf grates on people,” Mr. Borges said.

No matter what they pay in taxes, many private-college presidents occupy a rarefied financial position. In 2010, 36 private-college presidents earned more than $1-million, according to the most recent federal tax filings. The median compensation was $396,649. That figure represents a 2.8-percent increase over 2009.

You don’t need a college degree to know the word for this kind of thing–HYPOCRISY.

Read the full story at the Chronicle of Higher Education.

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