“Are PILOTs the panacea for Worcester’s fiscal woes?”

Under relentless pressure from some citizen activists, Worcester City Councilors have recently asked the City Manager to solve the City’s revenue shortfall, in part, by negotiating PILOTs (payment­in­lieu of taxes) with Worcester’s nonprofit institutions, especially the colleges, which are exempt from paying property taxes under state law. Not only will this new revenue stream close this fiscal year’s budget gap, the argument goes, it will also enable the City Council to reduce property taxes in future years. But is that the likely outcome?