Elsewhere online
July 29, 2016

Nonprofits and Mass. Towns Tussle Over Tax Proposal

The Boston Globe looks at the battle between charities and local governments in Massachusetts over a state bill that would levy taxes on some nonprofit-owned real estate.

The proposal, contained in an amendment to an economic-development bill, aims to ease the revenue hit for cities and towns when property is bought by nonprofits — and thus removed from the tax rolls — by assessing levies on a sliding scale for four years after the purchase. The bill also reflects local officials’ frustration that charities have provided less than they'd hoped in Pilots, payments in lieu of taxes to cover the cost of providing services to nonprofits’ properties.

Nonprofit leaders say the measure ignores the economic and other benefits they already confer on their communities through employment, investments, and social, educational, and health services. The amendment’s sponsor, Rep. David Nangle, said he doubts it will pass before the legislative session ends Sunday but that he will file a revised proposal that would apply the tax only to larger nonprofits, potentially making it more palatable to lawmakers.