Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Over the holiday break, a Wall Street Journal online article surveyed the numerous examples of financially struggling cities hitting nonprofits with new fees. Those examples included Houston, where voters recently enacted a "drainage fee" to improve flood-prone roads that does not exempt charities, schools, or churches, and Minneapolis, where a "street-light" fee (that also pays in part for elevator safety and fire inspection) applies to nonprofits as well as residents. While much of the nonprofit world's focus has been on threats to property tax exemptions and aggressive payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) plans, such municipal fees may cumulative also be a significant concern for many nonprofits. Death by a thousand cuts, anyone?