Councilman  Goode Introducing Bill Concerning School Funding on Thursday

Calling on the Nutter Administration to pursue PILOTs (payments in lieu of taxes) or voluntary contributions from large nonprofit institutions to address the City’s school funding crisis.

WHEREAS, nonprofit institutions play a vital role in the City of Philadelphia’s economy, including mega-nonprofits that provide education and healthcare; and,

WHEREAS, nonprofit institutions, mega-nonprofits in particular, own a significant portion of the City’s total property assessment; and,

WHEREAS, mega-nonprofits are currently afforded tax-exempt status resulting in exemptions from the payment of tens of millions of dollars that would otherwise be due to the School District, thereby placing additional burdens on Philadelphia’s remaining taxpayers; and,

WHEREAS, the Nutter Administration recently proposed a property tax increase to fund a $105 million request from the School District; and,

WHEREAS, the City’s General Fund Budget and local taxes are used to support essential services which are provided to mega-nonprofits; and,

WHEREAS, mega-nonprofits that are currently afforded tax exempt status but do not qualify as “institutions of purely public charity” under applicable legal precedent should forfeit their tax exemptions. In lieu of such forfeiture, and in settlement of any potential legal challenges to its exemption, the mega-nonprofit shall instead remit PILOTs (payments in lieu of taxes) or voluntary contributions; and,

WHEREAS, Mayor Edward G. Rendell signed an amendment to Executive Order # 1-94 on May 10, 1995 establishing a Voluntary Contribution Program; and,

WHEREAS, PILOTs or voluntary contributions could generate tens of millions of dollars for the School District to address its current fiscal crisis; now therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that the Council of the City of Philadelphia calls upon the Nutter Administration to pursue PILOTs (payments in lieu of taxes) or voluntary contributions from large nonprofit institutions to address the City’s school funding crisis.