June 18, 2019
Nonprofits Paid $33.6M to City of Boston in Lieu of Taxes

August 4, 2018 — Forty-seven major educational, medical, and cultural, Boston-based nonprofits paid $33.6 million in cash and gave $44.5 million in benefits to the city in the last year, or about 75% of the amount requested in lieu of property taxes.

While the organizations made the payments in lieu of taxes, called PILOTs, the amount given as a share of the amount requested varied, with some institutions donating 100% of the amount requested, others refusing to make a payment, and many making a partial payment.

"There are some institutions that don't contribute, but I think overall our goal looking forward is to bring all the institutions into the fold," said asey Brock-Wilson, the director of strategic partnerships for the mayor's office, quoted on WBUR this week. "We really would love to see 100% participation across the board both in terms of community benefits and cash."

Nonprofits by law are exempt from paying federal, state, and local taxes, but, starting n 2011, the city has sought PILOT payments to offset the cost of municipal services they receive, such as street maintenance, snow clearing, trash removal, and police, fire, and related emergency services. The city focuses on nonprofits that own property valued in excess of $15 million.

Previously, many nonprofits that declined to make PILOT payments have said they make up for it by contributing to the community in many ways, including providing scholarships, medical services, and reduced or free entrance to cultural institutions.

Sixteen medical institutions provided $19.3 million in cash and $22.5 million in benefits, or 94% of the total $44.5 million requested.

Twenty-one educational institutions gave $13.9 million in cash and $20.2 million in benefits, or 61% of the total $55.6 million in PILOTs requested by the city.

Ten cultural institutions gave $444,000 in cash and $1.8 million in benefits, or 56% of the total $4.0 million requested.

Total cash payments from 47 nonprofits in fiscal 2018 was $1.2 million more than the $32.4 million contributed by 49 organizations last year.

According to figures provided by the city:
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