Bill seeks community payment from non-profits

Cities and towns would require organizations to pay 25 percent of property taxes

BOSTON (WWLP) – Large non-profits may soon have to make community payments. But several human service organizations say this state proposal would cause them to cut vital programs in your community.

Non-profits are everywhere in your community, churches, colleges, hospitals and groups like the YMCA. Lawmakers have a proposal that would make non-profits make payments to cities and town, despite many of them being exempt from property taxes.

Several non-profits, like the YMCA, are fighting against the proposal, saying it would take away program funding for the at-risk youth and low-income families they serve.

“We would not have the ability to raise additional revenue, that means that we would have to cut certain programs,” said Michael Sullivan of Alliance of Massachusetts YMCAs.

Under State Representative Stephen Kulik’s proposal, backed by the Massachusetts Municipal Association, cities and towns can require organizations to pay 25 percent of what they would pay in property taxes if they were not exempt.

“These taxes would divert money that’s coming for services and go towards municipal coffers. We feel it’s unfair. We understand municipalities are struggling, but so are we,” President and CEO of the Providers’ Council Michael Weeks told 22News.

Although the bill doesn’t specify what kind of non-profits would have to make payments, Kulik, (D) Worthington, told 22News the proposal isn’t aimed at small non-profits, like human service organizations.

“What we’re looking at are the big, multi-million dollar or billion dollar institutions like our large hospitals or universities that may have large endowments, large payrolls and may be able to afford to kick something back to the community,” Kulik told 22News.

The bill is currently under review by the state’s Revenue Committee.