Thursday, December 18, 2014

Auditor General: Special Report On Potential Lost Revenue From Tax Exempt Properties

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale Thursday released a special report on property tax exemptions that might be costing local municipalities, counties and school districts more than $1.5 billion in property tax revenue in the 10-county sample examined for the report.
Data is included for the following counties: Allegheny, Beaver, Bucks, Dauphin, Erie, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Luzerne, Monroe, and Montgomery. The report reflects potential property tax liability in the county, municipality and school district where each property is located.
“We are at a major crossroads in the decades-long debate over how to define and review the property tax exempt status of nonprofit organizations in Pennsylvania,” DePasquale said, noting that legislation is moving forward that could put a constitutional amendment on the ballot as early as May for voters to decide how charitable entities can gain tax exempt status.
“There is no denying that counties, municipalities, and school districts across the state continue to grapple with mounting financial challenges, while many nonprofits’ charitable work is financially dependent upon their property tax exemption,” DePasquale said. “Before the issue comes to voters I want people to be informed and know how their vote may impact their local community.
“This report should stimulate interest in this important issue that could be put to a public vote shortly after the General Assembly returns to Harrisburg next year,” DePasquale said.
The report is available online.

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