Wednesday, March 7, 2012
This story in the Hartford Business Journal on-line details the efforts of Hartford to implement a PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) program, aimed at the largest nonprofits in the city. Like Boston, which has a PILOT program, Hartford has a number of very large nonprofits (mostly hospitals and universities) that are exempt from property taxes (although the state actually does reimburse the city some $40 million for its property). Like Boston, over half the property in Hartford is tax-exempt as the result of either state or private charity ownership. And like Boston, the revenue lost is huge - Hartford estimates that the value of exempt property is $3.6 billion (yes, that's "billion"). And like Boston, the charities complain that everything they do helps economic development - so they shouldn't have to pay taxes. Hmmm . . . Wonder if Microsoft enhances the economic development of Redmond, WA - and the last time I checked, Microsoft paid taxes . . .