Local Economic Benefit

How much does Brown make in direct payments to the city of Providence?

In FY 2020, Brown paid over $6.2 million to the city in voluntary payments. This includes payments under a 2012 Memorandum of Agreement with the city, a 2003 Memorandum of Understanding with the city, and voluntary payments on property used for educational purposes, leased properties and those not used for educational purposes.

Does Brown pay the City for services it receives?

Yes. In addition to more than $6.2 million in voluntary payments to the city, Brown pays over $2.3 million in fees each year, including sewer, water, and other city and state fees.

Brown also maintains its own nationally-accredited campus law enforcement agency, which patrols the campus community 24 hours a day, 365 days a year — a law enforcement responsibility that would otherwise fall to the city. The University provides and maintains a community police sub-station on Brook Street and a second in the Jewelry District at no cost to the city. Brown also pays the city for Providence police details to complement the force at peak periods such as Commencement. In addition, the University operates its own EMT service with an ambulance that responds to over 1,100 calls per year.

How many Providence residents does Brown employ?

Brown University directly employs more than 1,470 Providence residents, over 30% of Brown’s total workforce of more than 4,700 people.

How much property do private colleges and universities own in Providence?

Private colleges and universities in the city account for 12 percent of the assessed value of property in Providence, 3.2 percent by land area. The remainder of the tax-exempt property is held by churches, hospitals, museums, other nonprofit organizations, and the city, state, and federal government.

How else does Brown contribute to the city and state?

Brown is the eighth largest employer in the state and generates significant economic activity through direct and visitor spending, purchasing, research spending and construction activity. Brown employees pay over $16.9 million annually in tax withholding to the state of Rhode Island.

  • Brown students and employees spend thousands of hours engaged in the Providence community, in the fields of education, healthcare, food security, the environment, and more. Learn more at the Swearer Center.
  • Brown has active, long-term partnerships with Providence Public Schools, supporting thousands of students. In addition, the University grants millions of dollars in financial aid to Rhode Island students who attend Brown each year.
  • Brown plays an integral role in developing the Knowledge Economy in Providence, bringing jobs and expertise to RI. Brown has invested over $250 million in the Jewelry District over the last decade, purchasing and renovating buildings and providing essential research infrastructure, neighborhood enhancements, and thousands of construction-related jobs. Brown is the leading center of scientific research and development in Rhode Island, spending $196 million in FY19,  which largely came from out of state and was spent in state.