For all those residents who question why entities like UConn Health Center and Miss Porter’s School need not pay taxes, the Town Council Tuesday night established a committee to explore the possibility.
The council voted 5-2, with Democrats John Vibert and Mike Demicco opposing, to set up a working committee to research how the town might seek some sort of compensation from from tax-exempt entities in town.
The idea is that while some nonprofits operate on a shoestring budget, others are billion-dollar companies, which use a considerable amount of town services. The town might inform the nonprofits of how much the essential services the town provides to them cost, and companies would be free to reimburse the town on a voluntary basis. The new committee would gather information about how other municipalities have structured similar programs and explore how Farmington might reach out to nonprofits — and to which ones.
Town Council Chairman Jeff Hogan described the process as the council doing its due diligence for taxpayers.
“In a day and age when budgets are as tight as they are and we get razor thin at budget time, there’s an expectation from the public that we are looking at every opportunity to bring in revenue,” Hogan said.
The other Republican councilors echoed his sentiments, but Demicco and Vibert objected to the notion of trying to get revenue from nonprofits.
“I think non-profits are considered non-profits for a reason: they don’t make a profit and there’s a contribution they make to the community. I don’t think we should be looking at those organizations as a way for us to make money, Vibert said. “They make our community better, they make our economic situation better… I don’t feel it’s right.”
The new committee will be made up of Town Councilors Patty Stoddard and Nancy Nickerson, Town Manager Kathleen Eagen, Finance Director Joe Swetcky and Economic Development Director Courtney Hendricson.
Here's one list of some non-profits in town.