Friday, October 12, 2012

Portland Set To Develop PILOT Program

Nonprofits in Portland, ME could be contacted by officials in the future, as the city begins to develop a proposal that would seek payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTs) from tax-exempt properties.

Portland's City Council Finance Committee directed staff Thursday to create a proposal for contacting the owners of the city's nearly 1,300 tax-exempt properties, according to a report in The Portland Press Herald. That proposal would need to be approved by the City Council, and officials said that it could take years to develop a successful PILOT program for the city.

Although Portland does not have a formal policy regarding payments in lieu of taxes, there are currently 14 nonprofits that contribute money to the city, with those groups paying about $623,000 in fiscal year 2010-11. The largest contributor of those organizations is Ecomaine, a nonprofit waste management company owned and operated by 21 municipalities in southern Maine. Ecomaine makes annual payments of $357,000.

Councilor John Anton, chairman of the Finance Committee, indicated to The Herald that the program they eventually adopt could be modeled after the one that exists in Boston. The Massachusetts city doesn't require nonprofits to participate in their PILOT program, but guidelines and payments formulas were set up for those that do.

Should a PILOT program be adopted, it would be used to support public services in Portland. You can read the full story in The Portland Press Herald.

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