Nonprofits might consider city payment increase in lieu of higher taxes
07/06/07 12:00AM By Ross Sneyd
(Host) Some of Burlington's largest nonprofit institutions say they're willing to consider an increase in the money they pay to the city in lieu of taxes.
Burlington says higher payments might help it weather a financial squeeze.
The city says the large nonprofits make payments in lieu of taxes but they have not kept up with inflation.
City chief administrative officer Jonathan Leopold also says increased development at institutions like UVM and Fletcher Allen is demanding more in city services.
(Leopold) "Quality of life in the city is an important element of their institutional health and well being. So it's I think, a mutually beneficial situation for us to examine how they can contribute more to offset the cost of services."
(Host) Administrators at Fletcher Allen Health Care and the University of Vermont would like more information,
Collin Parker is public relations coordinator at Fletcher Allen.
He says Fletcher Allen is open to discussing the issue with the city. The hospital is paying 375-thousand dollars this year and that rises two percent a year.
(Parker) "We appreciate the fiscal challenges faced by Burlington and its taxpayers. For many years we've worked with the city to support essential services in line with our status as a nonprofit health care institution through PILOT and other payments."
(Host) UVM Communications Director Enrique Corredera says discussions have been going on with the city for a number of months.
(Corredera) "We are open and willing to explore with the city where the possibilities may be in terms of increasing our contribution to the city for key services that they provide to the university."
(Host) He can't say how much more the university might be willing to pay. But he points out that there are plenty of other demands for UVM's money.
Meanwhile, a task force for the City of Burlington has recommended reorganizing some city departments and cutting payroll.