By Mike Dunn
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — An about-face this past week from Philadelphia City Council: members voted to overturn a law that they passed just two years ago, after getting an earful from churches and other small non-profits in the city.READ MORE: Abortion Rights Advocates Gather For Bans Off Our Bodies Protest In Philadelphia After SCOTUS Overturned Roe v. Wade
In June of 2013 City Council passed, and the Mayor signed, a measure that forces non-profits in the city to submit proof of their status each year.
The goal was to make sure that properties that are exempt from taxes because of non-profit status are truly not for profit.
This was to the be the first year that requirement came into force, but it prompted a hue and cry from many non-profits, particularly churches. So City Council this past week unanimously overturned the 2013 requirement.READ MORE: 11 Separate Shootings In Philadelphia Leave 2 Dead, 10 Others Injured: Police
Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell said churches were confused and angry. “There’s all kinds of confusion out there. Sometimes you got to move in order to get things resolved amicably.”
Blackwell has no objection to larger non-profits in the city, such as universities and health care institutions, facing this requirement. She hopes Council and the Nutter Administration can work out a compromise.
“Its not a hardship on some of the big meds and eds as it is on the tiny groups. So we hope ultimately that we can work it out to satisfy everybody. We’re moving forward and we’ll try to work with the Administration to try to find a way to satisfy their interests as well.”
The Nutter Administration contends that the requirement is not burdensome and that the non-profits need only submit a so-called “Letter of Determination” from the IRS.MORE NEWS: Brandywine Valley SPCA, Other Shelters Holding Mega Adoption Event This Weekend
The Office of Property Assessment has already extended the deadline to file until June 1st, although Council’s about-face on the provision — by a veto-proof majority — appears to make that extension moot.