Graham Criticizes Harvard Payment

Harvard should "absolutely" pay more money to the city of Cambridge than it currently does, State Rep. Saundra Graham said yesterday during an interview for WHRB's weekly "Cambridge Questions" series.

Harvard annually pays an estimated $1.5 million in property taxes and $507,000 in lieu of taxes, a sum Harvard and the city decided jointly.

Graham, who is also a Cambridge city councilor, opposed Harvard's proposed Observatory Hill athletic facility. Cambridge should "really take a stand on institutional development," Graham said.

If Cambridge obtained extra revenue from Harvard, the city could use the money to lower the tax rate, deliver better services or fund a project to remove lead paint from walls in Cambridge, Graham said. "We could use all the money we could get our hands on to rehabilitate Cambridge, she added.

Graham also called for funding for a police commissioner in Cambridge, and said the establishment of a police commissioner would be the "completion" of her 1971 campaign platform.