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City Council Rejects Harvard Tax Plan


The Cambridge City Council unanimously agreed last night to refrain from entering into any tax arrangement with Harvard on its recently purchased Continental Hotel until a new City Manager has been appointed.

The Council gave an angry reception to the settlement proposed by Harvard in lieu of taxes, which was presented by Donald C. Moulton, coordinator for Community Affiars.

Under the plan, the University would pay full taxes on the hotel building for three years, two-thirds taxes for the next three years, and one-half taxes for a final three years. After ten years, the building would go off the tax rolls. Harvard would continue to pay taxes on the land for an additional ten years.

Councillor Saundra Graham broke out in laughter when Moulton finished reciting the University's proposal. Graham and Councillor Alfred E. Vellucci berated Moulton roundly and compared the acquisition of the Continental with what they termed Harvard's inadequate efforts in community housing.

Seven of the nine Councillors expressed vocal opposition to any plan that removed the property from the tax rolls. "It's a whole new ball game with this City Council, no matter what has happened in the past." Graham said.

Moulton said the University would look into the possibility of housing families in the Continental besides students, in response to a suggestion by Councillor Frank H. Duehay '55, dean of admissions at the Ed School.

The Council plans to appoint a new City Manager within the next few weeks. From the original 3000 applicants, it has pared the list to four finalists.

All four were questioned for six hours Saturday by 68 people representing a cross-section of the various interest groups in the city. All four deplored Harvard's purchase of the Continental as an example of Cambridge's shrinking tax base.

The finalists include David W. Davis, budget consultant to the Financial Vice President at Harvard.

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