Nonprofits should be taxed

July 17, 2013

I read with interest the article in the July 9 edition of the Observer-Reporter concerning property taxes and nonprofits. While I agree with Washington Mayor Brenda Davis that the issue needs to be revisited, I do not believe giving the decision-making power to the Legislature is the answer.

I believe all nonprofits� should be taxed on a sliding scale, much the same as property owners are taxed. Medical facilities, universities and colleges are for-profit entities and take in millions of dollars. People who use those facilities should pay property taxes. A student who attends Washington & Jefferson College or Waynesburg University certainly could afford their fair share of the entity’s property tax. Churches or other religious facilities also should pay their �fair share� of property taxes. One only needs to look at the ornate churches in our area and see that the parishioners of those churches could pay the property taxes.

As far as other nonprofits are concerned, one only needs to look at the website Charity Navigator to be shocked at how much money charities take in, how much they are worth and how much they pay their operating officers.

Yes, charities do a wonderful job helping others. But doesn’t the property owner who volunteers in their community in youth sports, scouting, after-school programs, day camps or other activities also contribute to the community and provide a service? Should his or her property taxes be reduced? When business or service providers have to pay higher property taxes, they are passed on to people who use those services or frequent those businesses.

Charities, churches, medical institutions, educational institutions and nonprofits all, in most circumstances, do a wonderful job of serving people. In order for them to be true members of the community, paying their fair share of property taxes will lower the burden on all members of the community and provide for an increase in services and livability in their communities.

Isn’t that the purpose in the long run, to help others?

Jim Hassett


Nonprofits should be taxed


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