A taxing proposal

To the Editor:

As president of Katahdin Area Council, Boy Scouts of America, which includes troops on Mount Desert Island, I am writing to express our great concern and opposition to Governor LePage’s proposed taxation of real estate owned by nonprofit organizations.

We, like a lot of other nonprofits, are financially fragile. The proposed legislation would have a devastating effect on our mission of giving 3,000 youth each year the opportunity to reach their full potential as responsible adults.

Nonprofits in general provide a valuable service to society/community far exceeding their impact on municipal services. Nonprofits provide a unique way to deliver services more efficiently and effectively than government entities with volunteers.

Nationally, Scouts provide more than 17 million hours of service each year to their communities. Based on National Volunteer Hour Value, that is more than $377 million in service.

Taxing nonprofits would set a dangerous precedent. The unintended consequences of beginning to tax real estate at any level could be the slippery slope that eventually causes many nonprofit organizations to fold operations, leaving governmental entities to fill the void.

So in the long run, what has been accomplished? Taxing a nonprofit organization that delivers a service at no cost, raises private support, represents people who don’t have a strong voice, and through its mission bring common good to the community is a bad idea and should be rejected.

William Lucy

Verona Island

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