TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida Gov. Rick Scott wants to convince one of the country’s most prestigious institutions to uproot and move south: Yale University.
Scott on Tuesday officially urged the Ivy League school to become part of a tax revolt and flee its current location in Connecticut and move its more than 12,000 students and 4,000 professors to the Sunshine State.
“That would be fun, wouldn’t it?” Scott said. “That would be a great day.”
The Republican governor explained he is targeting Yale because Connecticut state legislators are considering a bill that would tax Yale’s massive university endowment. Connecticut is currently struggling with a state budget deficit.
He promised Yale if it moved that Florida would greet the “world-renowned university” with open arms and would not impose any taxes on them. Scott’s pitch comes a few months after Florida tried to entice General Electric to move. GE announced in January it was moving to Boston’s Seaport District from Fairfield, Connecticut, where it employs about 800 people.
“If you are in business in Connecticut, you are going to have to move; you can’t compete,” Scott said.
Yale, however, isn’t planning to take up Scott’s invitation.
“It’s wonderful to be recognized as an outstanding asset, but Yale, New Haven, and Connecticut have been on common ground to great mutual benefit for 300 years,” Yale spokesman Tom Conroy said. “We’re looking forward to reaching even greater heights in education, research and civic engagement over the next three centuries and more.”
Scott has tried to poach jobs from other states for several years including sending letters to executives at Fortune 500 companies. In 2015 he took trips to Pennsylvania, California, Kentucky, New York and Connecticut in an effort to convince businesses to move.
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