Protecting Nonprofit Property Tax Exemption

Almost every legislative session brings challenges to nonprofit property tax exemption. As municipal budgets are squeezed, nonprofit property tax exemptions are scrutinized. MANP lobbies on behalf of the sector to protect current property tax exemption laws and improve them when prudent.

Nonprofits earn their property tax exemption

Nonprofits provide valuable services and benefits to their communities and the state as a whole.  They serve primarily the communities in which they are located and are among the critical economic engines of many communities. We make our communities more desirable places to live and raise a family. As government at all levels faces fiscal challenges, municipalities look to nonprofits more than ever to help provide essential community services. Because many of these services, if not provided by nonprofits, would fall to the responsibility of the government, nonprofits relieve some of the burden of government. We earn our property tax exemption.

Nonprofits work for Maine

One in six Maine workers works for a nonprofit. We’re a key partner in keeping Maine’s economy strong. Maine nonprofits contribute approximately $14 billion dollars per year to the economy through wages paid, retail and wholesale purchases and professional service contracts. This group of vibrant nonprofit organizations invests significant financial and organizational resources in their communities and mobilizes over 400,000 volunteers annually – volunteers who donate over $1 billion in time and resources to their communities (see our nonprofit impact reports).

Maine nonprofits are important community partners

Across the state, municipalities and counties provide important services, such as fire and police protection, sanitation services, and general infrastructure, to their communities. Nonprofits also provide important services, such as job training, housing, mental health services, transportation, conservation, and arts, culture, and other enrichment opportunities, to municipalities.

Many pay some form of property taxes despite earning the exemption

Even though they have earned an exemption, many nonprofits pay some form of property taxes. Some pay current use taxes such as Tree Growth or Open Space. Others choose to pay taxes on some of their buildings. And others choose to make payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTS). These are conversations that happen within each community and are unique to each community.