Tax Exempt Property and the Cities: Striking a BalanceJournal of Real Estate Taxation (1979)
All states grant a property tax exemption to certain non-profit organizations. Tax-exempt property further erodes many cities’ tax bases. Connecticut has recently adopted legislation in an attempt to solve this problem. This legislation, proposed by Professor Richard D. Pomp, provides municipalities with state subsidies for property taxes lost due to tax-exempt hospitals and colleges.
This article is the reprinted testimony of Professor Pomp before the Connecticut State Finance Committee. Professor Pomp outlines the proliferation of tax-exempt property in Connecticut, which contributes to forgone revenue for major cities. Tax-exempt property not only results in diminished tax revenue, but also imposes additional costs on cities. Professor Pomp further explains that tax-exempt organizations provide no greater net economic impact than businesses that pay the property tax. Professor Pomp analyzes three relevant questions that must be asked when considering alternatives to the current system. He concludes by proposing seven alternative options: (1) municipal permission before any taxable property can be purchased by a tax-exempt organization, (2) phase in the exemption whenever taxable property is bought by a tax-exempt organization, (3) phase out the exemption after a certain period, (4) limit the number of acres qualifying for the exemption, (5) set a dollar limit on the amount of property that can be exempt, (6) impose a user charge, or (7) state payments to jurisdictions containing tax-exempt property in excess of the state average.
Citation InformationRichard D. Pomp, Tax Exempt Property and the Cities: Striking a Balance, 7 J. Real Est. Tax'n 50 (1979).