Topic For Legislative Discussion

The issue of tax-exempt status for non-profit organizations has raised its head once again with the J.R. Simplot Foundation challenging a property tax bill on JUMP during the construction phase.

The STATESMAN provided a detailed look at the property tax issue.

Private hospitals like St. Als and St. Luke’s pay top staffers huge salaries and earn tens of million dollars in excess of costs each year. Yet they are tax-exempt.

Churches are also exempt. Well over $1 billion in property within Ada County pays no tax, but receives benefits such as police and fire.

Does the contribution to the community out weigh the value of property tax?

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Idahocrystal
    Dec 13, 2017, 11:26 am

    Well-made points all, Dave. I’ve long questioned the practice of continuing tax-exempt status on hospitals that squawk about the money they lose treating the indigent and uninsured, but continue to make billions in actual profits. Their entire focus seems to be expanding and building more profit-driven specialty centers that far exceed the area’s needs.
    Rather than even contemplate putting those billions of “non-profits” toward more affordable care, they choose instead, to dump money into expansion, construction and “fundraisers” that cost far more to put on than they’ve ever raised.

  2. I’ve seen a statistic that states if Churches alone were taxed we could adequately fund Medicare, Medicaid and other welfare related programs.

    No mention on benefits to schools including colleges. i, for one, am all for taxing the churches. Basically their welfare programs (helping the poor) are designed to keep people poor and an attendee. The LDS church for example has the poorest programs too aid anyone because you need to be an active member to qualify, have several interviews with a bishop before they allow you to go to their food bank (Bishop’s Warehouse) and even then they make it known it is usually a one or two time trip. Nothing is done to help members find better jobs, or education, or even lift them out of poverty.

    Source: An in-law who is LDS and a former Bishop’s counselor.

    EDITOR NOTE–PLEASE stay on the broader question. I don’t want to get into a religious debate of LDS, Catholic, etc. This comment is OK, but let’s not go after any specific denomination.

  3. Cut Government back to the stone age
    Dec 13, 2017, 12:28 pm

    Or we could mandate smaller government with each budget until it was back to 2% of GDP were it should be.

  4. Does the $1 Billion in property value include Schools and Government buildings, parks and lots? If one adds up the tax exempt properties in the city of Boise’s downtown core and looks at the monies the local elected officials spend in that area WE really need to question who the elected officials are working for.

  5. Go Doug Jones
    Dec 13, 2017, 6:57 pm

    JUMP – the church of the Simplot Co.? Where you pay to go in and do something.

    Not for the depressed or inebriated – indeed you could actually JUMP!

    Tax exemptions are not the problem but the abuse of the exemptions and the greed of those hospitals, organizations, and corporations who do profit excessively.

    The issue of the JUMP being tax exempt needs to be looked at.

  6. Mark Goodman
    Dec 13, 2017, 9:19 pm

    Don’t most churches own multiple rentals that they profit from but don’t pay property tax for?

    EDITOR NOTE–The rule is the property must be used EXCLUSIVELY for religious purposes. Day care business area in church is taxed. Also the big church even pays tax on welfare farms to avoid the conflict issue…at least they have in the past.

  7. You PAY to go to Jump
    Dec 13, 2017, 9:54 pm

    You PAY big to go to JUMP. All the classes are expensive and made only for those that can afford them.

    The Simplot Corporation pays rent on the land to JUMP so that the Simplot Corp can write off the payments as they go to a “non-profit”.

    The whole Simplot “monument” is a joke on the citizens of Boise. The Simplots don’t do anything to benefit the community – they only do what benefits themselves.

    And to David above – your comments are 100% not correct. Been there – they helped (and do help) a lot.

  8. Not only do you pay to go, you pay to use JUMP.
    It’s hardly a “community service”.

    Compare it to the Library! – where one can learn and create bunches of stuff.
    Or if instruction is your preference, _ Boise Community Education Classes.

    thmbs down for JUMP (Simplot family) not paying property taxes.

  9. Whoa Sassy girl! I gotta get off here and vote.

    I vote “no exemption”.
    Two different topics being blended into one.
    One- tax-exempt status is the federal declaration for income taxes and has little to do this topic although it tends to be the brunt of comments and opinions.
    Two- THIS issue is only about property tax. The State of Idaho has determined organizations with the federal exemption do not have to pay property tax.

    Easy remedy- organizations should have to QUALIFY for the property tax exemption.
    Old people have to qualify for a reduction on their personal home property tax- organizations should too!
    See Idaho’s Property Tax Reduction Program.
    For example, it could be:
    A) if organizations gets more than 50% of their support from the state or county, then they get an exemption on qualified property.
    B) if an organization has more than a million dollars in assets they don’t get an exemption.

    Keep in mind it is not just the real property (dirt) but the operational equipment (tangible property) such as x-ray machines.

    Exempting St Luke’s is much different than exempting a Terry Reilly’s medical clinic.

    Would anything with such reasonableness pass in Idaho? No. And that is solely based on the religious hold on Idaho’s legislature. Booo!

    BUT FIRST: Assessors should be required to maintain records for assessed value on ALL exempt property and report to Commissioners annually- made public, of course. TWO, developers getting the ag exemption is bs.

    A good article from last year:
    “They stop paying tax and everyone else pays a little more,”

  10. The waste and graft is everywhere you look. They even have TV news doing soft advertising for them during the newscast. Conditioning us for the next tax increases.

    Just one example: With local police-sheriff raking in 30-50% of the TOTAL local budgets why do I see several sympathy stories about county jail problems on TV news each month? You’d think these guys rode an old mule to work instead of the reality of more new vehicles than a car dealership.

    We should not be hearing violin music for any of these local government divisions. Gigantic bigger than ever budgets while at the same time, as the Guardian points out, they let their friends slip away tax free.

  11. Editor:

    Clarification of property tax exemption for churches:

    I.C. 63-602B States: used exclusively for and in connection with any combination of religious, educational, or recreational purposes or activities of such religious limited liability company, corporation or society, including any and all residences used for or in furtherance of such purposes.

    Thus, Cathedral of the Rockies continues to have tax exemption to the property on Fort Street that they purchased for development because it is dedicated presently to a community orchard and garden. I guess that is a recreational or educational purpose????

  12. The once in a lifetime act of God snow dusting with hurricane force 11 mph winds on Friday was just too much for the over funded public works departments. O the humanity!

  13. You do realize this means we must publicly fund a 280 story building just so the DC scum can’t make fun of us.

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