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30 nonprofits have tax-exempt status removed

ALBANY, Ga. -- Properties owned by at least 30 different nonprofit organizations have been stripped of their tax-exempt status by the Dougherty County Board of Assessors.

The properties are mostly those owned by local churches but also include local charitable organizations such as Open Arms Inc. and the East Albany Benevolent Society.

The move comes as the board continues a review of the hundreds of nonprofit organizations in Dougherty County, each of which applies each year for an exemption from property taxes.

"The purpose of the review is to make sure that the groups that are tax-exempt are meeting the requirements to be exempt," Chief Appraiser Larry Thomas said. "We're trying to make sure that, for those who should, that everyone is paying their fair and equitable share."

According to the Internal Revenue Service, 272 different nonprofit, charitable organizations are listed with Albany addresses. The IRS lists 170 more that had their federal tax-exempt status automatically revoked in 2011.

Thomas said the review is ongoing and that it's likely that more revocation recommendations could come before the board throughout the year.

"We are presently trying to complete a review of those entities," Thomas said. "Needless to say, it's a rather lengthy list."

The properties that were revoked typically were ancillary properties and, in the cases of the churches, not the root property.

"They are properties like houses or buildings or vacant land that didn't meet the criteria for exemption," Thomas said.

Comments

agirl_25 2 years, 2 months ago

Wonderful!! I hope the Dougherty County Board of Assessors gets tough and strips tax-exempt status from more non-profit, charitable organizations listed in Albany. I am amazed at how simple it is to claim status as one...just by filing an Articles of Incorporation for Georgia Non-Profit, giving the corporation some slick name, organizing it pursuant to the Georgia Nonprofit Corporation Code, give it a mailing address (which 9 times out of 10 is the home address of the incorperator(s), listing a registered agent, and stating that the corporation will have members but not stating how many or who they are or what duties they have, and under the "optional provisions part of the form..........NO OPTIONAL PROVISONS......pretty slick huh? Advertise in the public notices of the local paper and 'viola'....you have yourself a non-profit charitable organization and a tax break. Check some of them out sometime listed in the public notices of the newspaper and see what type "organization" they are when you do. You may be surprised. I don't mind paying my fair share but I am one of those who thinks everyone should pay their fair share too.

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whattheheck 2 years, 2 months ago

Although it is easy to form a non-profit, certainly don't disagree, most do not own any property. Non-profits must file a tax return with the IRS and when the reports are not filed for three years, the non-profit status is revoked. One reason there are so many non-profits is an organization has to have such status in order to set up a bank account, a product of the Patriot Act. So, the National Association of Sneaker Sniffers, with a membership of two, must set up a non-profit to put $10 in the bank or else run the risk of having the treasury stolen from their house, which is its official office--and which doesn't qualify for any tax break if they happen to file and assessors do their work properly. No loss in this case.

Charitable non-profits that are not really charitable and churches that are not really churches are the types that may own property and are given exempt status because work is not done to disprove their claims. And they are leaches on the rest of us who pay property tax. We do have these.

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LuLu 2 years, 2 months ago

Is there a link to the list?

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dingleberry 2 years, 2 months ago

Don't think the ones in article are listed. Read my post below.

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reb_arty1863 2 years, 2 months ago

Go through the list of houses and land that Phoebe has excluded from the tax rolls.

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chinaberry25 2 years, 2 months ago

Former Phoebe employees who have learned the ropes. During the Katrina crisis I use to dabble a little on Ebay. I had a PAWS account paid to me on Paypal by an exempt organization in New Orleans. Money was drolling in from outsiders and being spent on herself. Never give to one you know nothing about.

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agirl_25 2 years, 2 months ago

LuLu you can search the county tax records at this URL:

http://www.qpublic.net/ga/dougherty/search.html

but I don't know if you can search for non-profits seperately. You can search by name or by parcel address. These are public records.

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dingleberry 2 years, 2 months ago

There are over 700 non-profits in Albany per guidestar.org, a free site with a registration required to get data including tax returns in many cases . Once you have the names, the DoCo tax search is as agirl_25 shows--by name.

For the record, not all property of Phoebe or any church is tax exempt. On the DoCo assessor site, get a listing and look at, for example, "phoebe" and "sherwood" in the "owner" search and there will be a lot of parcels that pop up. Many will be classified as residential or commercial as applicable and taxes are assessed and paid on those.

Taking churches as an example, I don't have a problem with valid tax exemptions for the sanctuary and perhaps up to ten acres it sits on. But, when a church such as Mt Zion sits on 109 acres, it is not reasonable to make the excess acreage non-taxable. Mt Zion paid $900,000 for the property years ago yet it is recorded at $219,000 non-taxable on the assessors records.

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whattheheck 2 years, 2 months ago

It would be of service if a list of these non-profits were posted on this website so we could all see what is involved. Numbers of organizations with no names and/or value of property involved don't mean much of a hoot to us. How much tax money will we generate as a result of these actions?

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