Sunday, March 27, 2016

WDT: Tax Exemptions Explained and Rationalized

   This is actually a pretty good story delving into a much talked about and complicated subject. Tax exemptions.
    However, the premise here seems to be exemptions are not nettlesome to taxpayers.  We don't know as these exemptions have been in place so long, there impact cannot be judged. Besides if I am a parishioner of St. Pat's , do I want them to pay taxes ? Likely not. How about senior exemptions and veteran's exemptions.
     There are so many people who get a direct or tangential benefit, the subject of exemptions is hard to even discuss in a theoretical sense
     What is dubious across the board of society is the notion that any property should be exempt from the property tax....a tax purportedly funding the nuts and bolts services related to the existence of property.
      Then there are the anomalies. For instance, as long as the city water plant is in the city limits it is exempt, but if it were just outside , its taxable. Same plant, same customers and mission.
      Hospitals serve a public benefit but are largely a business with high paid executives and the need to make tough decisions based on the bottom line.
      NFP's are all over the map as far as public benefit.  Churches ?
      Then come the PILOT's which are really an exemption outside of statutory approval, or the property swaps to avoid taxes. Those pose moral dilemmas, but as long as they are cloaked in the jobs mantra, they continue.
       But like I said. I enjoyed reading the article.
Watertown Daily Times | Tax exemption less burdensome in Jefferson County; PILOTs not seen as problematic for local rates


Danny M. Francis (Eyepublius) said...

PILOTS cannot be rationally justified in my view ... unless gov gives taxpayers "payments in lieu of their taxes!" Oops as Rick Perry would say...

Danny M. Francis (Eyepublius) said...

A bit more on PILOTS - FYI:

Charitable nonprofit organizations, including private universities, nonprofit hospitals, museums, soup kitchens, churches, and retirement homes, are exempt from property taxation in all 50 states. At the same time, these nonprofits impose a cost on municipalities by consuming public services, such as police protection and roads. Payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTs) are payments made voluntarily by these nonprofits as a substitute for property taxes.

Boston for example, has one of the longest standing and the most revenue productive PILOT program in the United States.

PILOTs are a tool to address two problems with the property tax exemption provided to nonprofits. Key hangups as it were:

First, the exemption is poorly targeted, since it mainly benefits nonprofits with the most valuable property holdings, rather than those providing the greatest public benefit.

Second, a geographic mismatch often exists between the costs and benefits of the property tax exemption, since the cost of the exemption in terms of forgone tax revenue is borne by the municipality in which a nonprofit is located, but the public benefits provided by the nonprofit often extend to the rest of the state or even the whole nation.

PILOTs can provide crucial revenue for certain municipalities, and are one way to make nonprofits pay for the public services they consume.

However, PILOTs are often haphazard, secretive, and calculated in an ad hoc manner that results in widely varying payments among similar nonprofits.

In addition, a municipality’s attempt to collect PILOTs can prompt a battle with nonprofits and lead to years of contentious, costly, and unproductive litigation.

Anonymous said...

There are some good comments there about how big industrial wind is a scam on the tax payers.

The article fails to mention the 485b exemption.

Your statement that property taxes are supposed to fund the nuts and bolts services related to the existence of property, is silliness. Taxes are mostly a jealously tax and a use it or lose it tax.

It is hilariousness that they charge the cheese plant 100k each year and that is considered a "break". Really? "Thanks for the break!", I'm sure they are thinking.

So why was the not for profit NSIL being charged $30k per year? Was it just because no one in the club knew enough to apply for an exemption and no one in the city was honest enough to tell them to apply? No problem, will make a nice dollar store.

Anonymous said...

I cannot help but wonder why those clever taxing donkeys never thought of taxing easements. I have seen easements render properties all but worthless to the true owners, because easements and deed restrictions stop the true owner from enjoying the property as they otherwise would. In these cases, the owner of the easement is the true benefactor of the property.

Anonymous said...

Take the WLDC there a local "Benefit Corp." which means they can give money away like the 5K they donated to the Urban Mission, Or DANC all the money they gave away to developers for housing to create a Glut in the housing market, Or take the City Council a number of years ago raised the exemption for Combat Vets to 40%, this caused a increase in taxes........when does it end? When there's nobody left to tax at 100%.......

Anonymous said...

Geeze Dan, thanks for the copy and paste report. You really do think you have something to offer, don't you? You say it is an FYI. Nothing you offer is considered information. Most is simply party line propaganda.

Anonymous said...

10:62, Danny had to look that up for himself because he didn't know what a NFP was and he didn't know what a PILOT was or how it worked. So naturally he assumed dimwit thrush and 21 in commieland would want him to paste it here, so they cold understand too.

Anonymous said...

Danny really doesn't have anything to offer. NFP do not make payments through PILOTs, they are outright exempt. But thanks Danny

Anonymous said...

As Rosanne Rosannadana used to say, "Dan, you sure do have a lot of friends."

Anonymous said...

It's funny and I've been told the "whole council" agreed with the decision, Take the JRC NFP ex. director makes large bucks, yet the JRC needed a sidewalk for the safety of their clients, so the COW builds one for 200K, the odd thing it's on the other side of the street,(and why didn't the developer have to build the sidewalks?) Another was the "giveaway" of CDBG funds for the rehab of Maple Courts(a project that was a write off for Ford Motor) The new developer has also promised 150 jobs at the Abe Lincoln bldg.if he got GRANTS and PILOTS and other FREE monies, Haven't seen the 150 new jobs....Read all about it at the WLDC minutes...