Why some big nonprofits are balking at how the Nicollet Mall remake is being paid for

Why some big nonprofits are balking at how the Nicollet Mall remake is being paid for

Printer-friendly version

Jon Pratt, the executive director of the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, said the reason nonprofits are exempt from general taxes is because they provide a public benefit. “You want to assure donors that all of their money is going to the public benefit,” he said. “You don’t tax the fire department to pay for the police department.”

The issue raised in the Nicollet Mall assessments gets to the delineation between a tax and a fee, said Pratt. While nonprofits don’t pay general taxes that pay for general government, they do pay fees for services applied directly to their properties and activities. “Is this a tax or is it a fee?” Pratt asked. “It’s behaving more like a tax.”

Pratt said the issue has come up before, with a street-lighting and street-maintenance assessment in Minneapolis and a right of way maintenance assessment in St. Paul. Both council’s decided to apply those charges to nonprofits. “It’s part of a low-grade tension between municipal governments that need funds and exempt properties,” Pratt said.

Source Name: 
MinnPost
Find Your State Association of Nonprofits

Find Your State Association of Nonprofits

Connect with local resources and expertise

Find

Connect With Us

1. Sign up for updates

Stay up-to-date with the latest nonprofit resources and trends by subscribing to our free e-newsletters.

2. Follow us on social media