Glazier said he can think of only five “meds and eds” in Allentown. He said about 20 percent of properties in the city are non-taxable.
Before the meeting Eichenwald said she is not interested in including houses of worship among the non-profits.
Kistler wondered if more non-profits are in the city “than we recognize.”
“Religious institutions,” said O’Connell.
Glazier doesn’t expect downtown churches “to cough up any cash,” but their congregations could provide community services.
“As non-profits buy up property, it comes off the tax roll,” said Eichenwald, adding some of those properties are very valuable.
Kistler suggested a PILOT provision could be built right into any city-owned property turned over to a non-profit that now doesn’t have to pay taxes on it.
Dougherty said state legislation is pending final approval in Harrisburg that would increase the number of tax-exempt organizations in every city in the state. “This is not a good thing,” he told the committee. “This is the opposite direction from where we want to go.”
He recommended City Council should pass a resolution opposing final passage of that legislation.
The ad hoc committee plans to meet again in early March.