Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Nonprofit Hospital To Pay Syracuse For City Services

The mayor of Syracuse, N.Y., announced today that one of the city's nonprofit hospitals has agreed to pay $50,000 for four years to help cover the cost for services such as snow plowing.

Crouse Hospital becomes only the second tax-exempt institution to agree to make payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTs) to the city after Mayor Stephanie Miner urged the city's nonprofits to help the cash-strapped city, according to an article in The Syracuse Post-Standard. The other organization to agree to such payments was Syracuse University (SU), which will pay $500,000 over five years.

Between the two agreements, Syracuse will generate $2.7 million in revenue over the next five years.

"Crouse Hospital understands we cannot succeed as a city without our large non-profit institutions and that our large non-profit institutions cannot succeed without a vital and healthy city,” said Mayor Stephanie A. Miner in a press release. "This agreement shows Crouse’s leadership and how important it is to have strong partnerships with our leading employers—our nonprofits—to ensure we can move this community forward in challenging times."

The push to get more of the tax-exempt organization in Syracuse -- 50 percent of properties in the city fall under this classification -- is part of Miner's efforts to convince Albany that the city is doing all it can to resolve its current fiscal problems. The state government is reluctant to offer assistance until it gets those assurances.

In a letter to the city's nonprofits dated Nov. 1, Miner wrote that she believes that "our local efforts will not be complete until we as a community demonstrate that ALL our major nonprofit institutions are adopting the same bold thinking we are asking Albany to consider."

So far, however, the mayor has only gotten Crouse and SU to agree to make voluntary payments. Organizations including St. Joseph's Hospital Center and the State College of Environmental Science and Forestry have already rebuffed Miner's calls for payments.

Syracuse is among a growing list of cities that have called on nonprofits to make payments in lieu of taxes to help with fiscal issues. In October, the government of Pittsburgh, Pa., began dialogue with local tax-exempt organizations to make contributions to the city.

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