Loss of tax-exempt status financial gain for city, others

Several local organizations received notice earlier this week that their tax-exempt status had been repealed, and that could leave the Warren County School District, the City of Warren and Warren County with inflated budgets.

Warren General Hospital, the Rouse, the Warren County YMCA, Warren County Memorial Park, the Crary Home, and Calvary Chapel met with the Warren County Assessment Board of Appeals in October and appealed the decision.

Each organization has 30 days to file an appeal to the Court of Common Pleas.

If the assessment board’s decisions stand, some of the entities will have to pay property taxes on all of their property and others will pay on a portion.

While the amount each entity will officially pay in taxes has yet to be determined, City Manager Nancy Freenock said there are a number of projects the city could pursue.

“My thought would be to fund some capital improvement projects that the city hasn’t been able to undertake,” she said on Friday. A capital improvement budget was presented to city council for 2013, but it was not funded, she said.

Looking at long-term capital improvements, Freenock said the city’s street sweeper is “ancient and falling apart” and there is the parking garage which city officials previously said could cost the city about $85,000 in 2013.

Other items on the list include the demolition of the buildings at 231 and 233 Pennsylvania Ave W. which Freenock said would come at a projected cost of $60,000.

Overlay work on the Elm Street parking lot is estimated to cost $100,000 and milling and paving work on the Midtown Lot is needed as well, Freenock said.

“There’s no lack of places where money can be spent,” she said.