PILOTS and Property Tax

PA Senate Bill 4/Charitable Tax Exemption Update

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Senate Bill 4 was reintroduced for the 2015-16 legislative session on 1-20-15 by Senator Ryan Aument, and passed in the Senate on February 17, 2015, by a 30-19 vote.

This bill proposes to amend the state Constitution to give the legislature the authority to determine the qualifications of institutions of “purely public charities” for tax-exempt purposes.

PANO has not taken a position on Senate Bill 4 this session, but we do support fair, predictable rules for determining tax-exempt status such as those established in PA Act 55.

Senate Bill 4 came about as a legislative response to the Mesivtah decision in 2012, where the PA Supreme Court retained the right to interpret the constitutional minimum requirements of tax exemption.

This bill would amend the state Constitution to provide that only the Legislature has the right to determine the qualifications of institutions of “purely public charities.”

Senate Bill 4 passed both the House and the Senate in 2013, and the Constitution requires that constitutional amendments must be passed in two consecutive legislative sessions.

If the bill passes again in 2015-16, it must then go to Pennsylvania voters for approval as an amendment to the PA Constitution. Source: Wilson500. Download the full article below.

Where are we now? Download our timeline and background article below.

PANO PILOT Data Project - Please Take Our Brief Survey

We are also gathering statewide data on Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILOTs) to help us all better understand the impact of PILOTs in Pennsylvania: please take our PILOTs Survey.

PILOTS and Property Tax Exemption Challenges in the News

Charging nonprofits could be key to Harrisburg School district's success 8/19/14

UPMC, Pittsburgh drop tax-status fight 7/28/14

Payments in Lieu of Taxes: It's Worth a Try in Kittanning

Kittanning Looking for PILOTS from Nonprofits 7/17/14

Bethlehem City Council supports mayor's bid for nonprofit contributions to budget

City of Philadelphia Tax Ordinances Aimed at Charities

Constitutional amendment may affect tax exempt institutions

Death by a Thousand City Fees: How Local Governments May Be Weakening Their Own Delivery Systems

Do you know what a SILOT is? Explained in the new issue of Nonprofit Advocacy Matters

In Hospital Fracas, Task Force Criticizes Pittsburgh Mayor

Nonprofit Advocacy Matters examines a trend of imposing fees in lieu of taxes

Nonprofit organization warily eyeing Scranton's feud with tax-exempt institutions

Nonprofits Back Pa. Move to Let Lawmakers Decide Tax Breaks

Nonprofits brace for financial squeeze from municipalities (1/2014)

Nonprofits that lost tax exemption continue to get breaks

PA House Passes Joint Resolution to Give Legislature Power to Determine Tax-exempt Status/

PANO asks if a city’s PILOTs request is a pitch for volunteers or a mandatory requirement

Philadelphia Prepares for PILOT Push

Philadelphia Unions Want City to Start Taxing Nonprofits

Philly universities brace for PILOTs

Pittsburgh Again Serves as Nation’s PILOT Petri Dish

Pittsburgh ordered to renew nonprofit talks State overseers call attention to payments in lieu of taxes

Pittsburgh ordered to renew nonprofit talks State overseers call attention to payments in lieu of taxes

Proposed state constitutional amendment on defining nonprofits gets support of advocates

Review of tax-exempt land urged

Scranton eyes its seven largest nonprofits for contributions

Task force to scrutinize tax-exempt nonprofits

Tax Status and Fees Still in Active Play Between Nonprofits and Localities

Tax-exempt status for nonprofit hospitals at stake in Pennsylvania

The City Of Philadelphia Passes Two Bills Affecting Taxes on Nonprofits

The Logical Extreme: Slate’s Yglesias Calls for End to Nonprofit Property Tax Exemptions

The Nonprofit Sector’s Policy Challenges in the Year Ahead

Wagner audit cites inadequate county reviews of tax-exempt properties

Why Two Small Nonprofits are Paying into Philly's PILOTs Program


In an effort to offset the growing momentum for the creation of a Philadelphia PILOTs program, a coalition of 12 local universities released a report on Oct. 17 that emphasizes their contributions to and economic impact on their communities. Local officials have begun considering voluntary payments as a solution to the City’s school funding crisis, but the universities say they already collectively contribute $850 million annually to the City in local taxes and in-kind contributions.

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