Sunday, July 31, 2016

Massachusetts Contemplating Change in Non-Profit Property Tax

Proposed legislation in Massachusetts would potentially shake-up the current state of their local non-profits. The proposal would make it necessary for current non-profits to begin paying property taxes, and continue to do so for the next four years (churches and houses of worship remain exempt). Currently, non-profit organizations are exempted from paying property tax, but occupy more than 13 percent of taxable property within the state. The proposal is a small part of an overall economic stimulus plan that seeks to provide over $700 million in assistance throughout the state.

Proponents of the legislation argue that aggressive land purchases by larger non-profits make it more difficult for smaller entities to find land. They also believe exempting the non-profits ultimately raises property taxes for others in the community. Opponents believe that taxing non-profits will make it necessary for them to cut back on their services provided, and could lead to employees being laid off. This could have a wide impact, as non-profit jobs are an estimated 17 percent of the state’s workforce (approximately 500,000 jobs), and pay more than $30 billion in wages.

Although both sides present compelling arguments, it is imperative for policy makers to thoroughly analyze the true impacts of their decisions. It will be interesting to see what how the good people of Massachusetts respond to this proposal.

David Brennen

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/nonprofit/2016/07/massachusetts-contemplating-change-in-non-profit-property-tax.html

Current Affairs, In the News, State – Legislative | Permalink

Comments

We are pleased to report that early this morning the voices of nonprofits responded strongly to this proposal, working in a coalition to defeat it (led by the Providers' Council for Human Services, and the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network.) The final bill (HB 4569) that passed almost unanimously in the wee hours this morning did NOT include the nonprofit property tax provision. Here is a link to the final bill: https://malegislature.gov/Bills/189/House/H4569/History

Posted by: Jennifer Chandler | Aug 1, 2016 9:37:02 AM

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