Examining Non-Profits

20 bill and magnifying glass puzzle_Image by Images Money (taxrebate_org_uk) Creative Commons via flickr

Image by Images Money (taxrebate.org.uk) Creative Commons via flickr

This week, both the Senate Finance and Revenue Committee and House Revenue Committee discussed the progress of an interim legislative work group that is examining property tax exemptions for nonprofits. The four-member work group (Senators Brian Boquist and Chuck Riley; and Representatives Cliff Bentz and Ann Lininger) is looking at administrative and policy issues, and members reported that they are finding that drawing bright lines will not be easy.

A report from the state’s Legislative Revenue Office is expected in December. AOC staff has recommended that the most difficult statute to interpret and enforce consistently (ORS 307.130) be broken up into several statutes, each of which dealing with the characteristics and activities of a particular kind of institution.  Throwing together museums, charities, and scientific institutions does not work. The Legislative Revenue Office deserves credit for tackling this pain-staking job.