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Philadelphia’s Nonprofit Recertification Requirement Abolished

Philadelphia’s Nonprofit Recertification Requirement Abolished

On April 7, 2015, Mayor Michael Nutter signed Bill No. 150144 into law, therefore repealing a 2013 Ordinance which had needed Philadelphia’s nonprofit property proprietors to yearly recertify their qualities ongoing to be eligible for a property tax exemption. Because the Schnader Nonprofit Group reported within an earlier Alert, to enforce the now-repealed Ordinance, Philadelphia’s Office of Property Assessment (OPA) had formerly mailed a request information to any or all Philadelphia nonprofit property proprietors in Feb 2015. That information request requested nonprofit property proprietors to approve they ongoing to be eligible for a property tax exemption and to supply a significant quantity of supporting documents. Even though the OPA enforced a preliminary deadline of March 31, 2015 to reply to the recertification request, as a result of an outcry in the nonprofit community and subsequent City Council proceedings, the deadline was extended to June 1, 2015 and the necessity to provide the majority of the supporting documentation was eliminated.

Because of the recently-enacted legislation, however, there’s presently no requirement that Philadelphia nonprofit property proprietors yearly recertify their eligibility for property tax exemption. In confirming what is the news on its website, the OPA thanked individuals organizations which had formerly taken care of immediately the request documentation and established that the data provided would be employed to help be sure that the records from the OPA are current and finish. The OPA also confirmed that it’ll still perform audits to find out whether qualities remain qualified for exemption from property taxes. For the time being, though, there’s no requirement for Philadelphia nonprofit property proprietors to reply to the OPA’s earlier demands for information.

Please visit full Alert below to learn more.

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On April 7, 2015, Mayor Michael Nutter signed Bill
No. 150144 into law, thereby repealing a 2013
Ordinance that had required Philadelphia’s
nonprofit property owners to annually recertify
that their properties continued to qualify for real
estate tax exemption. As the Schnader Nonprofit
Group reported in an earlier Alert, to enforce the
now-repealed Ordinance, Philadelphia’s Office of
Property Assessment (OPA) had previously mailed
a request for information to all Philadelphia
nonprofit property owners in February 2015. That
information request asked nonprofit property
owners to certify that they continued to qualify for
property tax exemption and to provide a
significant number of supporting documents.
Although the OPA imposed an initial deadline of
March 31, 2015 to respond to the recertification
request, in response to an outcry from the
nonprofit community and subsequent City Council
hearings, the deadline was extended to June 1,
2015 and the requirement to provide most of the
supporting documentation was eliminated.
As a result of the newly-enacted legislation,
however, there is currently no requirement that
Philadelphia nonprofit property owners annually
recertify their eligibility for property tax
exemption. In confirming this news on its website,
the OPA thanked those organizations that had
previously responded to the request for
documentation and indicated that the information
provided would be used to help ensure that the
records of the OPA are current and complete. The
OPA also confirmed that it will continue to perform
audits to determine whether properties remain
eligible for exemption from property taxes. For
now, though, there is no need for Philadelphia
nonprofit property owners to respond to the OPA’s
earlier requests for information.
Although this turn of events is generally good news
for the Philadelphia nonprofit community, owners
of tax-exempt properties would be well advised to,
at least annually, document the basis upon which
their properties continue to be eligible for tax
exemption. By doing so, they should be better
prepared to appropriately respond to an OPA audit
by having already assembled appropriate
documents and other records to support their on-
going eligibility for property tax exemption. 

A L E R T
APRIL
2015
N O N P R O F I T O R G A N I Z A T I O N S

This summary of legal issues is published for
informational purposes only. It does not dispense
legal advice or create an attorney-client
relationship with those who read it. Readers should
obtain professional legal advice before taking any
legal action.

For more information about Schnader’s Nonprofit
Organizations group or to speak with a member of
the firm, please contact:

Marla K. Conley
Co-Chair, Nonprofit Organizations Practice Group
215-751-2561
mconley@schnader.com

Cynthia G. Fischer
Co-Chair, Nonprofit Organizations Practice Group
212-973-8175
cfischer@schnader.com

Noel A. Fleming
215-751-2444
nfleming@schnader.com

Molly Sharbaugh Unterseher
215-751-2517
munterseher@schnader.com

Joseph E. Lundy
215-751-2525
jlundy@schnader.com

www.schnader.com
© 2015 Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP
* See: www.schnader.com/jakarta

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One comment

  1. disqus_MVZX6CuHGR

    Well made argument for the mayor’s plan (and I rarely agree with the mayor). The statement, “…the city fell victim to blight”, whitewashes the role residents played in the degradation of their own neighborhoods. There were a lot of forces that co1pired to create this blight but the inhabitants, who did not care for their neighborhoods, are rarely held accountable for their role in this community devastation. nnIn addition to the effort to “rein in bad landlords, protect tenantsu2019 rights and enforce laws to e1ure housing quality”, there should also be efforts to hold tenants accountable for the care of their units. Now that a hard won recovery has taken place, we most make sure our neighborhoods have the municipal services in place so tenants are able to maintain their affordable housing.nnThe bottom line, as Mr. Cestero pointed out, NYC neighborhoods are changing ANYWAY; to enable the middle class to be a part of these neighborhoods, some type of planning has to be in place.

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