Philadelphia is in crisis. Our schools are broke. The city can't afford to plow all our streets. Budget cuts are still forcing fire station blackouts.
Meanwhile, mega-nonprofit eds and meds like the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University, and Jefferson University are thriving. They own huge swaths of valuable land, but claim a charitable exemption to property taxes--one of the most significant sources of city-level funding for schools and services.
These institutions are valuable and important for our city, but very little of their programming is actually charitable. Like the rest of us, it's time for mega-nonprofits to pay their fair share towards schools and essential services.
If elected mayor, I pledge to implement a payment in lieu of taxes program focused on getting private, non-charitable nonprofits with annual revenues totaling more than $1 million to pay at least 33% of what they would pay in property taxes if non-exempt, with the resulting funds earmarked for schools and public services. I pledge to create these programs by executive order if necessary.
I also pledge that if elected, I will create an ongoing strong, and transparent auditing process for charitable exemption claims made by large nonprofits.