Assessors Pitch PILOT Program
With property in non-profit hands, town needs an alternative way to pay for town services.
To the editor:
Thanks to the Belmont Citizen Herald, Boston Globe, Belmont Patch, the Board of Selectmen and all interested parties in helping promote an awareness of the Belmont PILOT (In-Lieu-of-Tax-Payment) Program.
The Board of Assessors implemented this program because non-taxable entities have purchased 13 taxable properties at a cost in excess of $14 million since 2000 that will create an eventual loss of $175,000 in annual town revenue. The single family tax bill has increased from $5,791 in FY 2000 to $9,964 in FY 2012. (A 72 percent increase).
We recognize and salute the contributions of our religious, educational, and charitable organizations, as they are an important and integral part of our community and make Belmont a better place to live!
However, the fact remains that they are receiving fire and police protection and street maintenance for free. As these costs continue to escalate, it is our opinion that those that have the financial resolve should share in the cost of essential services.
In fiscal year 2012, seven non-profits contributed $36,800 in voluntary payments. The requests for voluntary payments for fiscal 2013 were mailed out this past week. Monday, March 19, the Institute of Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies became the eighth non-profit to voluntarily pay the amount requested. Thank you!
It is encouraging to see the response to our program and that of neighboring Communities. A “Significant Minority” of non profits are now responding and pressure is on to do more.
It is our intention to meet with non-profits throughout the year including Belmont Hill and Belmont Day schools, in an effort to make them recognize their obligation to the Community, and to budget accordingly.
Do you think non-profits who can afford to pay should contribute to the cost of essential services? We would be interested in your views or suggestions! Also, any student who is interested in a summer intern program to work on the PILOT Program, please call the Assessors’ office for an interview.
Belmont Board of Assessors
Robert R. Reardon, CAE, Chairman
Charles R. Laverty, Jr. CAE, Vice Chairman
Martin Millane, Secretary