OIB commentator Andy Fardy is tired of the growing presence of nonprofits in the city without the state fully funding payments in lieu of taxes. Someone must absorb those costs. He shares his perspective:
Nonprofits comprise about half of Bridgeport’s grand list. We all know the state pays us “PILOT” money, which means payment in lieu of taxes. But it’s only a small portion of what should be their real tax bills.
I was driving north on Main Street and noticed a large medical building at the corner of Salem and Main streets in Bridgeport is owned by St. Vincent’s Medical Center. This goes along with several houses and a large commercial building on Lindley Street.
I do not want to just single out St. V’s–Bridgeport Hospital is doing the same thing and has expanded its purchases several blocks away from the hospital and owns property formerly on the tax list.
It’s time for these nonprofits, storefront churches and the like to pay taxes to the cities they are located in. Let these nonprofits get their rebates (PILOT) from the state themselves.
The state Legislature does not give the cities proper payments under PILOT because it does not affect their towns.
The suburbs will ship us their ill, their addicted, their mentally challenged. When you’re in the suburbs, you’d be hard-pressed to find a drug-treatment facility, a halfway house and other agencies that help the have-nots and the addicted.
There is one thing everyone is forgetting, especially the people in Hartford. It’s the poor and lower middle class in the cities who are paying for these ever-expanding nonprofits. We living here in Bridgeport have done our civic duty by footing the lack of taxes provided by PILOT and the state.
It’s time to level the playing field. If these nonprofits are allowed to keep purchasing taxable property and taking it off the tax rolls while the state gives a small tax compensation to Bridgeport, who the heck is going to pay taxes because there will be no one left who is a taxpayer.