PILOT programs could mean big(ger) bucks

Cash-strapped cities like Philadelphia should take a closer look at their payment-in-lieu-of-taxes programs, or PILOTs, says a new study released Tuesday. In a PILOT, non-profits make voluntary payments to local government to fund municipal services because they’re exempt from the property taxes that would otherwise cover the service costs. Daphne Kenyon wrote the report for the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. Among big American cities, Kenyon says Philadelphia has the largest percentage of land exempt from property taxes — 10 percent.”Part of the reason that Philadelphia does receive some of this revenue from non-profits is that non-profits have a significant share of property in the city,” Kenyon said.According to Kenyon, Philadelphia could be getting a lot more than the nearly $1 million it now receives from PILOTs.

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