Tuesday, March 29, 2016

"The solution, in the final analysis, about whether to tax non-profit organizations is clear."

The following letter to the  editor appeared in the  Record and was written by the heroic Murray Sabrin:
Regarding "Taxing hospitals" (Editorials, March 27):
Several important issues were raised in the editorial regarding the desire of both Englewood and Teaneck to impose some form of property tax on Englewood Hospital and Medical Center and Holy Name Medical Center, respectively. However, the editorial fails to address a major issue regarding property taxes — namely, that there is a weak link between the taxes homeowners and commercial entities pay and the "benefits" they receive.
Yes, non-profit institutions like hospitals, colleges and universities and other large tax-exempt organizations do not pay for the police and fire protection they receive from municipalities. Thus, in a world of no property taxes, these entities would have to pay to receive those services out of their revenue.
By the same token, property taxes discriminate against homeowners who do not have any children in the public schools. Singles and couples without children still have to pay the educational costs of families who have one or more children in the public schools.
The solution, in the final analysis, about whether to tax non-profit organizations is clear and fair. Abolish property taxes so homeowners, business owners and managers of non-profit institutions will use their funds to pay for the services they want whether those services are provided by the municipality or the private sector.
Just as we pay for cellular phone servi-ces, cable television and dozens of other services in the marketplace voluntarily, so, too, should we pay for municipal services on a voluntary basis.
Murray Sabrin 
Fort Lee, March 28
The writer is a professor of finance at Ramapo College and a past candidate for state and federal office.

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