Taxing nonprofits ‘neither feasible nor desirable’

Taxing nonprofits ‘neither feasible nor desirable’

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Many nonprofits provide needed community services that the government does not. Shelters for those seeking to escape domestic violence provide a safe place to go. Programs at the local YMCA might keep kids in school and away from crime and seniors active and out of the hospital. Land trusts preserve and maintain open space for recreation, wildlife and aesthetics.

Many nonprofits, especially museums, theaters and musical groups, are touted to visitors and potential residents as cultural draws to communities.

There is a “social compact” that trades the value of the services that nonprofits provide for their tax-exempt status, says David Thompson, vice president of public policy for the National Council of Nonprofits.

“Local budget holes are smaller because of the work nonprofits do,” he said Monday. Private schools reduce the costs of public education. Homeless shelters keep those with no place to go from standing in storefronts. Youth groups keep kids out of gangs.

In addition to breaking the social compact, assessing property taxes on nonprofits would require more bureaucracy and, hence, more government spending.

Source Name: 
Bangor Daily News

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