Colleges that oppose same-sex marriage can keep their tax-exempt status. Granted, the US Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage is legal in all 50 states. But testifying before the Senate Judiciary Oversight Subcommittee last week, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said, “At this time there is no basis for us to revisit tax-exempt status… We will continue, obviously, to ensure that those who enjoy tax-exempt status are still doing the work they said they were going to do.”
On the Hill. The Senate Finance Committee holds a hearing today on reducing the need for foster care. Tomorrow, it will meet in closed executive session to decide whether to submit its report on the IRS handling of tax-exempt status to the Senate.
Beantown hasn’t been bean counting. Boston has given out about 140 property tax breaks over the past forty years. According to The Boston Globe, city officials don’t know how many millions of dollars those breaks have cost the city. They could only provide cost projections on 10 deals signed in the past seven years: $78 million in lost revenue.
In New Jersey: Long-term property tax breaks in Jersey City “aren’t fair.” GOP Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli says the deals exploit the state school funding formula. Jersey City collects $119.2 million from 146 payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOTs) agreements. If property taxes had been paid in full, Jersey City would have collected $198.6 million. City officials explained that the city keeps a share of PILOTs while it splits normal property tax revenue with the county and the school district. As a result, the tax breaks cost the city only $19 million.
A stronger economy can’t trump state politics. When it comes to budgeting, “havoc still reigns in many statehouses. In fact, it might be getting worse.” So concludes TPC’s Richard Auxier. He and TPC’s Norton Francis review budget dysfunction in Maine, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Iowa, and explain how problems have become more political than economic.
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